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Visitor-General of New Spain 

Keproduced from L. Alaman, Disertaciones sobre la Historia de la 

Bepublica Mexicana, III, 296. 







v. 5 



(1765-1770 i~az~ c 



Assistant Curator, Bancroft Library, University of California 





Library, Univ. of 
North Carolina 


The reign of Charles III of Spain has long been attractive 
to students of history by reason of the peculiar fecundity of 
ideas and interests which characterized that monarch's benevo- 
lent efforts to give his country the political greatness, material 
prosperity, and intellectual freedom which would place it again 
at the forefront among the nations. His essential worthiness, 
even greatness, of character, his wisdom in reform, his peculiar 
problems, his purposes and plans in dealing with them, have been 
amply set forth by writers who, like Beccatini, Fernan-Nunez, 
Ferrer del Rio, Danvila y Collado, Rousseau, and Addison, have 
concerned themselves with the life of Charles or the peculiarly 
European questions of his reign. From the viewpoint of Amer- 
ican affairs, however, little has been written. 

The measure of success which attended the work of this the 
greatest of the Spanish Bourbons was largely due to the sagacity 
with which he chose his ministers of state, but still more essen- 
tially was it due to the faithfulness and loyalty with which he 
upheld them in the discharge of duties intrusted to them. It 
is for this reason, as well as because writers have occupied them- 
selves with Charles' European problems chiefly, that we know 
Esquilache, Grimaldi, Floridablanca, or those two other public 
servants who were not ministers of state, Aranda and Campo- 
manes, better than we know Arriaga or Galvez. 

A very minor importance has been conceded to Jose de Galvez 
among the ministers of Charles III. He is hardly better known 
in America than his nephew, Bernardo de Galvez, whose career 
in Louisiana and New Spain was due to the consistent protection 
of the older and more powerful man. And yet Jose de Galvez 
was, with the possible exception of the second Revillagigedo, the 
most able representative of the Spanish crown in New Spain 



during the eighteenth century. He certainly was the most com- 
petent Minister of the Indies during the Bourbon regime. It 
was largely due to his constructive statesmanship in that capac- 
ity that the material prosperity of the American possessions, and 
hence of the mother country, made possible the great strides in 
national development for which other men have received full 
measure of attention and praise. 

Jose de Galvez began his public career shortly after the be- 
ginning of the reign of Charles, and continued in the public 
service until the day of his death, which preceded that of the 
King by about a year. 

Inasmuch as the later efficiency of Galvez in his ministry 
was due to experience gained in actual field service in New Spain 
as visitor-general of the affairs of public finance (1765-1771), 
and inasmuch as the policy he was later to pursue was formu- 
lated and initiated during the years of his residence in America, 
it has seemed wise to restrict the scope of the present study to 
lL the activities of those years. In so doing the aim has been to 
present the measures initiated by Galvez as visitor-general in 
their connection with the general colonial policy and its reform. 
To this end a study of the visitation, and of the department of 
public finance (real hacienda), constitute the body of the work. 

For the proper study of this visitation it has seemed wise to 
give in an introductory chapter an outline of the Spanish com- 
mercial and colonial policy and a brief statement of the inter- 
national relations of Spain during the domination of the House 
of Bourbon which made necessary the errand of Galvez to New 
Spain. For the same reason the condition of New Spain itself 
and its needs for reorganization are then set forth. In the main, 
well-known authorities have been used for this development. In 
the remainder of the study hitherto unused materials form the 
basis of the discussion, which continues with a presentation of 
the character and purpose of the general visitation (visita gen- 


eral) as a feature of colonial administration. A brief account 
of the contest of Galvez as visitor-intendant with an unfriendly , 
viceroy demonstrates of how little effect might be the supreme 
effort of an able monarch and an efficient ministry to reorganize 
the administration of a distant colony under such circumstances. 
The peculiar character of the colonial trade and the need for its 
reform is portrayed in a succeeding chapter, after which an 
account is given of the personal activities of the visitor during 
the historic Jesuit expulsion. The reorganization of the north- 
western frontier, including the occupation of California and the 
Indian war in Sonora, viewed in the light of the acts of Galvez, 
occupy the two succeeding chapters. The final year or so of the 
visitation saw the completion of a number of important, though 
minor, measures, aimed at reform in municipal administration, 
as well as the close of a number of legal suits which formed part 
of the visitorial procedure ; with a relation of these measures 
the purely chronological account of the visitation ends. Finally, 
a study is given of the system of public finance of New Spain, ^ 
and of the share which Galvez had in its reorganization. This 
study is carried down to the time of the second Revillagigedo, 
in whose term as viceroy the most effective measures were taken 
to put into operation the reforms initiated or suggested during 
the visitation of Galvez. Such, in brief, is the scope of this 
monograph. Throughout, emphasis is laid on the personal side 
of the story, for the reason that the visitation as a feature of 
colonial administration was of so special a character as to make 
its results depend largely upon the personality of the man to 
whom it was intrusted. Conscious effort has been maintained 
to prevent this personal emphasis from exaggerating the import- 
ance of a single worker in a field where the laborers were many 
and the honors divided. 

There are certain questions of form in the use of accents and 
italics upon which there is not yet sufficient agreement among 


writers on Spanish institutions. With reference to names of 
persons, the plan herein followed is to modernize first names, 
adhering to the older forms for family names, except where the 
pronunciation demands, according to modern usage, the addition 
of an accent. Thus Joseph Galvez becomes Jose de Galvez. To 
this form not many critics will take exception. In this partic- 
ular instance, the form as adopted was beginning to be employed 
while Galvez yet lived. In footnotes,, where manuscripts are 
cited, the original form of names, titles, and of accent and capi- 
talization has been followed. In the matter of use of italics 
there will probably be less agreement. By general consent, at 
least among students of Spanish-American and Spanish insti- 
tutions, many Spanish words are considered to have become 
Anglicized, such as peso, presidio, pueblo, alcalde, real (the 
monetary unit), cedula, and a few others used in this study. 
The words audiencia and real hacienda, having indeed no satis- 
factory English equivalents, have been left consistently in Roman 
type. The English word fiscal (state attorney) has been used, 
with its plural fiscals. So also of the plural reals. Asesor has 
been rendered assessor, with dictionary sanction. Corregidor, 
Anglicized through literary association, has been italicized, as 
the English plural seems harsh. Alcalde, only where used in 
combinations, as alcaldes ordinarios, has been italicized. Other 
Spanish words needed, because their translation would be mis- 
leading, have been italicized in accordance with best usage. 

Grateful acknowledgments are due to Professor Henry Morse 
Stephens for friendly aid, interest, and constructive criticism of 
this work while it has been in preparation.- Dr. Herbert E. 
Bolton has given lavishly of his knowledge, experience, and time, 
far beyond the demands of editorial responsibility. Professor 
Charles E. Chapman, fellow-student, has likewise been invalu- 
able in helpful suggestion. The new materials used have been 
made available through the generosity of the Native Sons of the 


Golden West, whose Traveling Fellowships have done so much 
for Spanish-American history. The researches of Mr. Lawrence 
Palmer Briggs, Dr. Chapman, Professor William L. Schurz, and 
Mr. Karl C. Leebrick have through these Fellowships been placed 
at the writer's disposal. Thanks are due to Professor Rafael 
Altamira y Crevea, who has furnished valuable materials used, 
to Professor Francis S. Philbrick of the School of Jurisprudence 
of the University of California, who has criticised the chapter 
on the general visitation, to Professor Roscoe R. Hill of the 
University of. New Mexico, Dr. Robert Glass Cleland of Occi- 
dental College, and Mr. Charles Wilson Hackett of the Univer- 
sity of California, who have read and criticised the proof. Mr. 
Albert H. Allen of the University Press gave valuable sugges- 
tions as to form while the work was in preparation ; Mr. Joseph 
W. Flinn, Superintendent of the Printing Office, has been of 
practical assistance in many ways. My wife has been unfail- 
ingly helpful in the drudgery of proof-reading. 

Herbert Ingram Priestley. 

University of California, 
October, 1916. 



Preface vii-xi 

Introduction — A Biographical Sketch of Galvez 1-12 

The Historical Background 13-45 

The Administration of New Spain 46-82 

Origin and Character of the General Visitation 83-134 

Galvez and CruIllas — The Tobacco Monopoly 135-171 

Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 172-209 

The Expedition of 1767 210-233 

Galvez in California 234-266 

Galvez in Sonora 267-295 

The End of the Visitation 296-311 

Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Galvez 312-390 

Bibliography 391-403 

Appendix — Instructions to Galvez 404-417 

Index 418-448 



1. Jose de Galvez Frontispiece 

ng p. 8 

2. View of Macharaviaya faci 

3. Kingdom of Nueva Galicia 

4. Jesuit Map of California, 1757 

5. Proposed Intendancy of Sonora and Sinaloa, 1770 

6. Plan of Attack on the Cerro Prieto, 1769 

7. Proposed Intendancy of California, 1770 

p. 48 
p. 248 
p. 264 
p. 272 
p. 288 

I. General Reference Map following Index 



Joseph Bernardo Galvez Gallardo was born January 2, 1720, 
in the village of Macharaviaya, or Macharavialla, near Velez- 
Malaga, on the southern coast of Spain. He was the second son 
of Antonio Galvez y Carbajal and Ana Gallardo Jurado, who 
were married at Macharaviaya on July 1, 1716. His godfather, 
a neighbor, was Jose Gallardo, perhaps a relative of the family. 

The Macharaviaya branch of the Galvez family was in those 
days reputed to be one of the oldest and purest of Spanish lines. 
In 1771 Miguel de Galvez, a younger brother of Jose, being then 
a candidate for royal favors, presented to the King a certificate 
of genealogy over the signature of Ramon Zozo, king-at-arms 
and chronicler of Charles III. This certificate, accompanied by 
eighty-nine instruments, such as titles, decrees, royal orders, cer- 
tificates of marriage and baptism, purported to prove that Miguel 
was sprung from four male lines of descent (varonias) , namely, 
those of Galvez, Garcia, Madrid, and Cabreras. The arms of 
the Macharaviaya Ga"vez family were supposed to date from the 
historically unverified battle of Clavijo, in the year 834, when 
members of the family were reputed to have won a new quar- 
tering for conspicuous bravery. 

The most distinguished bearer of the name, prior to Jose de 
Galvez, was Anton de Galvez, seventh grandfather of the former, 
who bore a notable part in the wars against the Moors which 
resulted in the surrender of Granada in 1492. Their Catholic 
Majesties granted to Anton de Galvez the privilege of sepulture 
and a permanent sitting in his parochial church, which are still 
conserved as the right of the family. Anton was the common 
ancestor of various branches of the family which became estab- 
lished in Andalusia. From early times they were registered as 
hijosdalgo, and occupied official positions fitting their stations in 

2 A Biographical Sketch of Gdlvez 

life. Many members of the family which settled in the province 
of Malaga became Caballeros de Calatrava, and served their 
sovereigns in distinguished posts. They were known as "Old 
Christians," without admixture of foreign or heathen blood; 
they had never engaged in any low or mechanical employment, 
and resided on their own estates. 

Notwithstanding the purity of its lineage, or perhaps on 
account of it, the Macharaviaya family at the time of the birth 
of Jose was as poor as it was proud and ancient. Of the gener- 
ation to which Jose belonged, there were four brothers who grew 
to maturity and a fifth who died in infancy. The oldest was 
Matias, born July 24, 1717. Jose, the second son, was followed 
by Antonio, who, born March 27, 1724, appears not again in 
available records. The fourth son, Andres Luis, was known as 
Miguel instead of by his baptismal name, though for no assigned 
reason. He was born November 30, 1725. The youngest son, 
Antonio Miguel Joaquin, came into the world September 29, 
1728, subsequent to his father's death. The poor farmer having 
gone to his rest, his young sons were obliged to gain their liveli- 
hood as shepherd boys, for flocks and herds were the mainstay 
of the community. In this humble employment Jose de Galvez 
spent his early years, with intervals of attendance at the boys' 
school in the neighboring village of Benaque. 

When he was eight years old the village priest took him as 
an acolyte. This circumstance brought him, three or four years 
later, under the notice of the bishop of Malaga, Diego Gonzalez 
Toro, who was making his episcopal visitation in Benaque. The 
bishop was impressed with the possibilities which the boy showed, 
and took him to Malaga to be educated for the priesthood. In 
1735 he was a candidate for a fellowship in the seminary of 
San Sebastian at Malaga, an honor which was conceded to him 
upon proof of his legitimate birth, his purity from taint of 
Moorish blood, and of the fact that he had never engaged in any 

Early Life 3 

low or ignoble occupation. 1 Though it is not certain at what 
date Galvez entered San Sebastian, the record of his candidacy 
for the fellowship shows that he had been enrolled prior to this 
application. In 1734 his benefactor, Gonzalez Toro, was removed 
to Cuenca, being succeeded at Malaga by Gaspar de Molina 
Oviedo. In 1737 Gonzalez Toro died. Shortly after that event 
Galvez departed for Madrid, carrying with him, it is said, letters 
from Molina, who was a relative of Gonzalez Toro. It appears 
that, through the influence of Molina, Galvez entered the uni- 
versity of Salamanca, where he began the study of law, eschewing 
the holy calling to which his first patron had tried to educate him. 

Concerning his life at Salamanca we have not the barest 
detail. It is indeed sometimes stated that he entered the uni- 
versity of Alcala, but his name does not appear upon the records 
of that institution at all. 

From the university Galvez went to Madrid to practice law. 
In this profession he was for some time inconspicuous. In 1750 
he obtained an appointment as governor of Zamboanga, Minda- 
nao, in the Philippine Islands. The service was to continue for 
five years, and the position was granted in compensation for 
services rendered and for a payment of 1500 pesos. It is not 
apparent that he ever went to the Philippines ; he may, indeed, 
have merely purchased the office for the purpose of selling it. 
The royal appointment, dated at Buen Retiro, December 9, 1750, 
provided that if Galvez should by any reason be prevented from 
discharging the duties of governor for the whole or any part of 
the time the position might be filled by Manuel de Galvez or 
Miguel Antonio Rodriguez de Texada. 2 

On August 2, 1750, Galvez was married to Lucia Romet y 
Pichelin, who was his second wife. The first was Maria Magda- 

i Pretension de Joseph Galvez para una oeca de colegial en el colegio semi- 
nario de San Sebastian, Malaga; Archivo del Obispado de Malaga. 

2 Eeal Orden, Buen Retiro, December 9, 1750; Archivo General de 
Indias, 139-7-17, lib. 6. 

4 A Biographical Sketch of Gdlvez 

lena Grimaldo, of whom next to nothing is known save that she 
died without issue. The second Seiiora de Galvez was a French- 
woman, a fact which may be taken as a cause or an indication of 
the favor in which Galvez was subsequently held by the French 
coterie at Madrid. 3 

According to one account, it was Galvez' knowledge of the 
French language and his facility and grace of expression which 
won for him the good will of the most eminent Frenchmen re- 
siding at the court. He thus won the friendship of a secretary 
of the French ambassador, and became legal councillor for the 
latter. He later utilized his opportunities in this capacity to 
bring himself to the attention of the First Minister of State to 
Charles III, Grimaldi, who made him one of his secretaries. 

A more romantic tradition has it that there occurred in 
Madrid in 1747 a notable lawsuit (ruidoso pleito) between the 
state and a foreign business house. Galvez, employed as counsel 
by the foreigners, made such a brilliant argument before the 
court that he won the suit, to the astonishment of the most able 
jurists. His success attracted the attention of the King, who in- 
vited the young lawyer to an interview. Charles asked him how 
he had had the temerity to defend a case against the state, to 
which Galvez is reputed to have replied: "Senor, antes que el 
rey esta la rey ' ' — ' ' My lord, the law is greater than the King. ' ' 
The readiness and fearlessness of the answer is supposed to have 
been the young man 's ' l open sesame ' ' to distinction. 

Both accounts are fondly cherished in the traditions and 
local histories of Macharaviaya, the patria of Galvez, where he 

3 " A poor lawyer, undistinguished among the swarm of practitioners 
for many years, and first becoming known only as the attorney of the 
French after he had married for his second wife a Frenchwoman; the 
Abbe Beliardi and the ambassador [Duras, 1752-1755, D'Ossun, 1758-1778] 
then took him up for their own; they have advertised him and aided him, 
and account his triumph as their own and that of their nation" (Fran- 
cisco Carrasco (Marques de la Corona) to Viergol, March 13, 1776; Archivo 
Historico Nacional, Legajo 3211). 

First Public Services 5 

is held in kindly memory for the many benefactions to the village 
in which he engaged during his later years. 4 

What is definitely known of his first successes at Madrid is 
that he was on November 25, 1764, by royal order, made alcalde 
de casa y corte (civil and criminal municipal justice), with sen- 
iority over another appointee of the same date. 5 The chief ad- 
vantage of this position was that it brought him into close contact 
with the Council of Castile, under the supervision of which body 
these alcaldes exercised their functions. The dominating influ- 
ence in this Council for many years was that of Count Aranda 
and the two fiscals, Campomanes and Monino. The latter two 
were later responsible for much of the success which attended 
the public services of Galvez. 

Upon the death of Francisco Armona, who was chosen visitor- 
general of New Spain in 1764, Galvez was appointed February 
20, 1765, to perform the visitation. Eight days later he was 
made honorary member of the Council of the Indies with sen- 
iority, in order "that he might serve with more character in the 
employment of visitor. ' 6 It was customary to grant to visita- 
dores who went to the New World some such distinction, in order 
to hold out prospect of employment for them when they should 
return to Spain.' While Galvez was still in America he was 
further rewarded by the king for his activities by being made, 
on December 28, 1767, a ministro tog ado of the Council and 
Chamber of the Indies; that is, he was made eligible to sit in 
the chamber of justice, than which no higher distinction in the 
Council could be conceded to him while he was absent from the 
capital, as he obviously could discharge no duties of the office 
while so situated. The honor of this appointment came just 
after the close of the expedition which Galvez made into the 

4 A. Moreno y Eodriguez, "Noticias cerca la Villa de Macharaviaya, " 
chapters 22, 23, of Eesena Historico-Geogrdfica de Velez-Malaga y su Partido, 
Malaga, 1865. 

sEeal Orden, November 25, 1764; A. H. N., Leg. 461. 

6 Eeal Orden, El Pardo, February 28, 1765. Archivo General de Indias, 

6 A Biographical Sketch of Gdlvez 

mining regions to the north and northwest of Mexico City, and 
after his completion of his share in the expulsion of the Jesuits, 
matters which will be discussed on later pages. 

Until the end of March, 1768, Galvez received his salary as 
alcalde de casa y corte, in addition to his salary of 12,000 pesos 
as visitor-general. After that date his salary as alcalde ceased, 
and he received in lieu thereof a salary of 50,000 reals vellon, or 
2500 pesos, as judge of the Council. When he had completed the 
services which form the theme of this book he returned to Spain 
in 1772 and entered upon his work in the Council of the Indies. 

During 1773 Galvez performed various services for the King, 
among them being inspections of the Archivo de Indias and of 
the Archivo General de Simancas. While he was occupied with 
these commissions he collected a number of documents needed 
for the beatification of the venerable Juan de Palafox, his famous 
predecessor in the visitation of New Spain, and a favorite hero 
of his royal master Charles III. 

On January 26, 1774, Galvez was appointed to a membership 
in the Junta General de Comercio, Moneda, y Minos, a vacancy 
in that body having been created by the retirement from it of 
the Conde de Aranda. About this same time Galvez also served 
as superintendent of the regalia de corte without pay. 

In June, 1775, he was obliged to beg a vacation of two months 
on account of ' ' fevers in his head, ' ' but he was able to return to 
his duties before the time was up and to continue at work for 
some years. Frequent illnesses characterized his later days. 

Upon the death of Arriaga, 7 Minister of the Indies, Galvez 
was promoted to fill the vacant position, through friendship with 
Muzquiz, Minister of Finance. 8 Galvez received the portfolio of 

7 The Baylio Julian de Arriaga died, at the age of seventy-five years, 
on January 28, 1775, at El Pardo. He had prior to his assumption of the 
ministry seen service in America for a brief period as governor of Venezuela 
(Moses, The Spanish Dependencies in South America, New York, 1914, II, 

8F. Eousseau speaks of Galvez as "une creature de Muzquiz." Gri- 
maldi, who had been of great service in obtaining the advancement of 

Later Responsibilities 7 

the Indies only ; the direction of Marina, which had been a part 
of the duties of Arriaga, was confided to Pedro Gonzales Castejon, 
who was a pronounced enemy of Grimaldi. In the same year 
Floridablanca became the first minister of the King, having been 
chosen for his successor by the deposed Grimaldi, who even at 
the end possessed enough influence to obtain the appointment of 
his early followers to positions of influence and responsibility. 

Less than a month after his appointment as universal minister 
of the Indies Galvez was made governor pro tempore of the 
Council of the Indies, to serve in sessions of either the Council 
or the Chamber, and to vote therein, when it would be of benefit 
to the royal service, on such occasions as when the Duke of Alva, 
the incumbent, was unable through illness to perform the func- 
tions of his office. Alva was continued in the presidency of the 
Council, and whenever he attended the sessions he was to have 
precedence over Galvez, who sat at his side. 

When the Council of the Indies was reorganized under the 
plan perfected in 1777, Galvez was made governor of the first 
chamber of the three, that called the sola de gobierno for New 
Spain. The second sola was intrusted with the affairs of Peru, 
while the third was the chamber of justice. 

In 1780 Galvez was made a member of the Consejo de Estado, 
in which he had held honors since 1777. In this capacity he 
took great interest in the war against England, using his position 
to further the ambitions of his nephew Bernardo by arranging 
for the brilliant campaign of that young officer in Louisiana. 
By intrigue, says Rousseau, 9 Galvez in 1780 manipulated the 
sending of the squadron under Solano to join the French fleet 
in the Antilles — an errand in which Solano was unsuccessful. 
When the Spanish operations in the war proved of little benefit, 

Galvez, seems at this date to have been abandoned by the latter, in 
common with the remainder of the court coterie, save the King himself 
(F. Eousseau, Eegne de Charles III d'Espag?ie, 1759-1788, Paris, 1907, II, 

o Ibid., II, 152 et seq. 

8 A Biographical Sketch of Gdlvez 

Galvez is reputed to have joined the other ministers in attrib- 
uting failure to Floridablanca entirely, in a spirit of jealousy due 
to the miscarriage of his ambition to succeed Grimaldi. 

This personal ambition was the incentive which made Galvez 
an ardent member of the war party. Whichever way events 
might turn, he could not be loser. If victory came, he and Ber- 
nardo, after the latter 's brilliant campaign in Louisiana, would 
find their reputations enhanced. If failure ensued, the weight 
must be placed upon Floridablanca, whom, if he were displaced, 
Galvez might succeed. 

During this period Galvez showed that his experience in 
America had given him better knowledge of its affairs than was 
possessed by either Floridablanca or Castejon. When the latter 
two would have sent a Spanish expedition against Jamaica, 
Galvez clung to his plan for a campaign along the Gulf coast, 
though he was opposed in this by both the other ministers. Of 
what advantage, he argued, to help the Jamaicans, who would 
only organize an independent republic, setting a bad example to 
all of Spanish America, which was already perturbed by the 
revolt in Peru. 10 

In 1785, through the influence of Floridablanca, Galvez was 
given the honor of a title of Castile, with the denomination of 
Marques de Sonora. This title was conceded at the same time 
that many other officers of the court received similar honors, upon 
the occasion of the marriage of the Infante Gabriel to Maria 
Victoria, daughter of the queen of Portugal, and of the Princess 
Charlotte to Juan, the queen's son. At the celebration of the 
wedding ceremonies Galvez participated in the capacity of notary 
of the realm, reading aloud the marriage contracts. 11 

Other positions of honor were held by Jose de Galvez, among 
which was that of perpetual regidor of the city of Malaga. He 

10 Rousseau, II, 162-3, 196. 
ii Ibid., II, 262. 



Benefactions 9 

was in 1772 made a Caballero Gran Cruz of the Real y Distin- 
guido Orden de Carlos III, an order which the monarch estab- 
lished that he might have an opportunity of rewarding his zealous 

The little town of Macharaviaya was not forgotten amid all 
the success of the erstwhile shepherd boy. In co-operation with 
his brothers, Galvez erected in his native village a school for the 
boys and another for the girls. The industry of manufacturing 
playing-cards for use in America was located in the village in 
1776 ; for many years this monopoly furnished occupation for 
the people. The sons of Macharaviaya were preferred for posts 
in the royal service in America under the protection of the 
powerful minister, their townsman. 

Nor was Galvez unmindful of his relatives when he had 
achieved distinction himself. Indeed, his activity for them 
savors of what we should call today the rankest nepotism. It 
was not unusual for his time. The most successful of his pro- 
teges was Bernardo, whose campaign during the American Revo- 
lution has already been mentioned. Bernardo was son of Matias 
de Galvez, the older brother of Jose. Father and son held the 
viceroyalty of New Spain successively under their more powerful 
relative's protection. Bernardo was made Conde de Galvez in 

Matias de Galvez was preceded by Mayorga as viceroy of New 
Spain. When Antonio Bucarely, successor of the Marques de 
Croix, died in 1779, an order was issued conferring succession 
to the post of viceroy upon "the President of Guatemala." 
Matias de Galvez had just been appointed to succeed Mayorga 
as President of Guatemala, and was en route thither. The ex- 
pectation of the Minister of the Indies undoubtedly was that 
Matias would become possessed of the presidency before the order 
appointing a successor to Bucarely would be received. But by 
an unusually quick transit of the Atlantic the appointment out- 

10 A Biographical Sketch of Galvez 

distanced the elder Galvez, and Mayorga was thus fortuitously 
named viceroy. Mayorga was made to pay bitterly for the un- 
intended distinction. He received only half salary during his 
incumbency and was almost constantly in conflict with the Min- 
ister of the Indies, who seemed never to forgive him for the check 
upon his ambition for his elder brother. So great was the enmity 
between Galvez and Mayorga that Bustamente hints broadly, 
without citing authority, that the sudden death of Mayorga, 
which occurred while he was returning to Spain after the close 
of his term, was due to agents of Galvez. 12 

The other brothers, Miguel and Antonio, served the King with- 
out great distinction. Miguel was made ambassador to Prussia, 
and Antonio was made a mariscal de campo in the royal army. 

Jose de Galvez died at Aranjuez on the night of June 17, 
1787, from an illness which is characterized in the language of 
the time as accident e, usually taken to mean an attack of insanity 
— perhaps a return of the malady from which he suffered during 
his campaign in Sonora in 1769-70. He was survived by an 
only child, a daughter, Maria Josef a, fruit of his union with his 
third wife, Maria de la Concepcion Valenzuela, whom he married 
in Madrid on November 1, 1775. Maria Josef a was born No- 
vember 14, 1776. To her Galvez bequeathed his possessions, and 
to her descended his title of Castile. 

The titles of nobility bestowed upon Bernardo and Jose de 
Galvez soon passed from the family. The male heir of Ber- 
nardo, his son Miguel, died without issue, and the title passed 
to his sister, Matilda, who became Countess of Galvez. The 
daughter of Jose, Maria Josef a, died in 1817 without issue, 
and her title of marquise passed to Dona Matilda, Countess of 
Galvez. The combined titles passed to the daughter of Dona 
Matilda, Doiia Paulina Capice y Galvez, who married the Duke 

12 C. M. Bustamente, Suplemento to Cavo, Los Tres Siglos de Mexico 
(Jalapa, 1870), 340-1; N. de Zamacois, Historia de Mejico (Mexico, 1877- 
82), V, 634-6. 

Death and Burial 11 

of Balzo y Caprigliano, a prince of Italy residing at Naples. 
From this union issued Don Ernesto del Balzo, who inherited in 
1887 the titles of both his father and his mother. 13 

Bustamente says: "We are ignorant of the circumstances 
of the death of Galvez, but it is generally thought that he quar- 
reled with Charles III over the complaints made against the 
supposed treasonable ambitions of Bernardo [who was accused 
of desiring to set up an independent kingdom in New Spain, over 
which he was to be proclaimed king] . His death is supposed to 
have been due to apoplexy, but in those days that might have 
been either poison or the garrote (strangulation). However this 
may be, Galvez died leaving many enemies, among them the 
friends of Mayorga. Nevertheless he was a great minister, and 
the increase of real hacienda was due exclusively to him." 14 

The body of the distinguished son of Macharaviaya rests in 
a marble sarcophagus in the pantheon beneath the floor of 
the church of his native village. His name and his honors are 
gratefully recorded on tablets within the church and upon a 
Calvario erected upon an adjacent hillcrest ; his townsmen honor 
and respect his memory as that of their greatest son. 15 

is From a document in possession of Dona Maria Loreta de Hita Fer- 
nandez, schoolmistress of Macharaviaya. 

14 Bustamente, Suplemento to Cavo, Los Tres Siglos de Mexico, 369. 

15 The details of the foregoing account are taken from church records, 
royal orders and cedulas too numerous to cite, which were collected by 
Mr. L. P. Briggs, and copies of which are in the Bancroft Library. Short 
biographies of Galvez are to be found in the Biographie Universelle An- 
cienne et Moderne (Brussels, 1843-47), VIII, at the word Galvez; in the 
Diccionario Universal de la Lengua Castellana (Madrid, 1875-6) and in the 
New International Encyclopedia (New York, 1914). 

That Galvez had enemies during his life is indicated by the following 
pasquin, in which the tongue of envy and disappointment lashes the 
memory of the poor shepherd boy whose phenomenal career was the one 
great glory of his family and village. 


A Biographical Sketch of Gdlvez 

A la Eepentina Muerte de D. Jose De Galvez, Ministro de Indias 


Un poco limpio accidente 
La vida a Galvez quito, 
Ya su poder acabo 
Mas la nacion no lo siente; 
Malaga tan solamente 
Llorara por su paisano, 
Mas rie el americano 

Y europeo comerciante, 
Pues ya tiene el navigante 
El mar libre de un tirano. 

Asi repentinamente 
El teatro mudara 

Y de nuevo empuiiara 

El Dios Neptuno el tridente: 
Se vera palpablemente 
Que su proyecto caduco 
Fue para Espafia un trabuco 
Conque al comercio hizo guerra: 
Gracias a Dios que dio en tierra 
Este estatua de Nabuco. 

Con ambiciosos furores 
El comercio disipo 

Y America destruyo 

Por dar a su casa honores. 
Estos mentidos favores 

Como eran tan desiguales 
Tuvieron fines fatales 
Pues se llevo ; trance fuerte! 
En poco tiempo la muerte 
Dos vireyes generales. 

Su falta acarreara penas 
Al que fue de su resorte, 
Mas hoy recibe la corte 

Y el comercio enhorabuena, 
Todos salen de cadenas 

Y los que por el prescritos 
Se miran, piden a gritos, 
Se ponga, porque asi place, 
En su sepulcro aqui yace 
Por quien yacen infinitos. 

Los Galvez se deshicieron, 
Como la sal en el agua, 

Y como chispas de fragua 
Fosforos desaparecieron. 
Bajaron como subieron 

A modo de exhalacion; 
Dios le concede el perdon, 
Sin que olvidemos de paso, 
Que este mundo da canazo 
A quien le- da adoracion. 

(In F. Guillen Robles, Historia de Malaga y su Provincia, Malaga, 1873, 
601. From a manuscript in possession of the Amigos del Pais de Malaga.) 



Preliminary to an account of the work of Jose de Galvez as 
visitor-general of New Spain it is necessary to present a view of 
the institutions with which he had to deal, and of the policies 
and problems which made his visitation necessary. Such a view 
will include a description of the Spanish colonial policy and 
administrative system, and of the relations of the Bourbon kings 
with the nations of Europe in so far as they affected that policy. 
Attention must be paid chiefly to the reign of Charles III. The 
condition of New Spain at the time that Galvez came to it, the 
phases of government and society which were to feel the force 
of his influence, and the needs toward the fulfillment of which 
his measures were directed, will be presented. In discussing the 
government of New Spain, the department of public finance 
(real hacienda), which was in truth the vital element of the 
administrative system, will be reserved for treatment in a final 
chapter, in which will be summed up the effects of the work done 
in fiscal reform by the visitor-general. 

1. Bourbon Policies. — In 1700, at the close of the reign of the 
last Hapsburg, Charles II, Spain was at the lowest depths of 
decadence. Her army was reduced to 20,000 men, her fleet was 
composed of only twenty vessels, the public treasury was empty. 
The population of some 6,000,000 souls dwelt in misery in a 
country without roads, without commerce, without agriculture, 
and without industries. The aristocracy was ignorant and 
haughty, the clergy fanatical, the King an idiot. Such was the 
spectacle presented by the monarchy of Charles V and Philip II. 1 

1 G. Desdevises du Desert, L'Espagne de VAncien Regime, II, Les Insti- 
tutions (Paris, 1899), Introd., p. v. Cf. Moses, The Spanish Dependencies 
in South America, II, 254; A. Ferrer del Rio, Historia del Eeinado de Carlos 
III en Espana (Madrid, 1856), I, 39-70; A. Canovas del Castillo, La Deca- 
dencia de Espana (Madrid, 1854; ed. 2, 1910), passim. 

14 The Historical Background 

Philip V, coming to the throne in 1701 under the tutelage of 
Louis XIV, began the work of reconstruction with energy. His 
measures were directed toward centralization of administration, 
improvement of real hacienda, and the development of the re- 
sources of the nation. 2 At that time the revenues, in Spain and 
in the American possessions as well, were leased to revenue 
farmers, and the proceeds of the taxes were consumed by swarms 
of office-holders. Even positions so high as the viceroyalties, 
as well as lesser administrative places, had been sold to produce 
funds which had been wasted in bootless wars. Crime was rife 
in Spain, public disorders were frequent, there was even scarcity 
of food. The War of the Spanish Succession hampered the re- 
constructive measures which Philip would have carried out. 
After fourteen years of fighting, he renounced his claim to the 
French crown; the Archduke Charles was elected emperor, and 
the allied armies of Louis lost the incentive under which they 
had been fighting. In the peace which followed Philip was in- 
deed insured his throne but lost his Low Countries, Milan, Naples, 
Sardinia, Sicily, Gibraltar, and Minorca, while his exclusive 
Spanish-American trade was broken into by the grant of slave- 
trading rights to England. 3 

To the internal organization of the country the war brought 
some simplification. While losses of non-adjacent territory had 
occurred, there had also been revolt in Aragon. Conquered, that 
old kingdom lost her council and her political liberty, and was 
subjected to the same regime as Castile. Thus Philip's plans 
for centralization were aided by his very misfortunes. 4 

On the death of Louis XIV, in 1715, Philip attempted to 
renew his claim to the throne of France. This ambition brought 

2 J. Becker, Espana e Inglaterra (Madrid, 1906), 11. 

3 Lucas Alaman, Disertaciones sobre la Historia de la Republica Megicana 
(Mexico, 1844-49), III, 215; R. Altamira, Historia de Espana y de la Civil- 
ization Espanola (Barcelona, 1913-14), IV, 305-7. 

4 Desdevises du Desert, Introd., p. vi. 

Programme of Philip V 15 

his old enemies the English and the Dutch into triple alliance 
with France against him. Austria and Sicily were soon arrayed 
against him as well. From the conflict he emerged in 1720 with 
no profit save recognition of his claim to the Spanish throne by 
the Emperor, and the investiture of the duchies of Parma and 
Tuscany in his young son. When, in 1724, Philip resumed the 
crown after the short reign of Luis I, his policy was marked by 
costly ambitions. Coupled with the desire of Isabel Farnese, his 
wife, to establish her sons in Italy was Philip's renewed passion 
for the crown of France, for the recovery of Gibraltar, and for 
the exclusion of England from the American trade. Such were 
the motives under which Philip accumulated problems which 
were left to his successors to solve. By the Treaty of Aix-la- 
Chapelle (October 18, 1748), concluded for Spain by Ferdinand 
VI, the Italian duchies were secured to the young princes of 
Spain ; but peace with England was obtained at cost of new 
advantages to that power in the slave-trade and the annual 
trading ship (navio de permiso). 5 

Yet the reign of Philip, presenting so sorry a spectacle in 
international relations, was in reality a period of renascence of 
national prosperity His minister, Alberoni, was an assiduous 
worker for development of manufactures, for destruction of 
smuggling across the peninsular borders, development of com- 
merce, and encouragement of the applied arts. This prosperity 
began with the coming of Orry, sent from France by Louis XIV 
to reorganize Spain's finance and military establishment. It 
was due to Orry that the branches of real hacienda were taken 
from revenue farmers and placed under administration of crown 
officials. When he left Spain, in 1714, the army had been re- 
organized and equipped with munitions of war in abundance. 
During the same period the revival of national interest in intel- 
lectual matters was indicated by the establishment of the two 

s Altamira, IV, 48; Becker, 25. 

16 The Historical Background 

great royal academies of language and history, the royal academy 
of Barcelona, the university of Cervera, and the medical acade- 
mies of Madrid and Seville. 6 

2. Centralized administration. — Under Philip, too, began a 
centralization of the administration of the colonies similar to 
that introduced into the Peninsula in imitation of the French 
system. The first step in this process was the creation of five 
secretariats which absorbed the administrative duties of the old 
councils. One of these secretariats was that of Indias y Marina. 
In 1715 the first minister of the Indies formally denominated as 
such, the Count of Frigiliana, received his appointment. In 
1717 the Council of the Indies was reorganized to conform to the 
ideas of closer personal oversight which now became the royal 

This council had been definitively established in 1524, though 
it had previously operated under the same name as early as 1509. 7 
It was independent of the Council of Castile and the other pro- 
vincial councils, deriving its authority directly from the sover- 
eign. Under the Hapsburgs the Council of the Indies legislated 
for those dominions, and, after 1636, heard judicial cases arising 
there if appealed. 8 

The reorganization to which allusion is made restricted the 
Council of the Indies to hearing cases in litigation and other 
purely judicial affairs. It was henceforth to refrain from issu- 
ing, and its two secretariats (created in 1715, one for Peru 

' e Alaman, III, 259-262; for an interesting account of the work of Orry 
in Spain see F. Kousseau, Un Eeformateur Frangais en Espagne au XVIIIe 
Siecle (Corbeil, 1892), passim. 

7 M. Danvila y Collado, Signification que tuvieron en el Gobierno de 
America la Casa de la Contratacion de Sevilla y el Consejo Supremo de Indias 
(Madrid, 1892), 25. This address appears in Espana en America, el Con- 
tinente Americano . . . Conferencias dadas en el Ateneo . . . de Madrid 
(Madrid, 1894), III, No. 12. 

s Danvila y Collado, 34; Moses, The Establishment of Spanish Mule in 
America (New York, 1898), 19; The Spanish Dependencies, I, 230-234; Juan 
Solorzano y Pereyra, Politica Indiana (Madrid, 1776), II, 408. 

The Council of the Indies 17 

and the other for New Spain) were to refrain from forwarding, 
cedulas, despatches, or other governmental orders. All that was 
executive or legislative in character was assumed by the King, 
who from that time on sent out his orders .through his ministers 
only, or por la via reservada. This restriction, the essence of the 
Bourbon centralizing policy, obtained in all matters concerning 
real hacienda, war, commerce, and navigation. 9 

The Council numbered among its members many returned 
officials from the Indies, whose ripe experience was of great value 
in the decision of questions of colonial policy. Its president 
under the Hapsburgs was usually a grandee of Spain ; the Bour- 
bons often chose for this officer members of the lower nobility. 
At first the Council had one state attorney (fiscal). In the reign 
of Charles III there were two. In 1773 and 1776, under the 
influence of Galvez, the Council of the Indies underwent import- 
ant modifications. In the latter year its membership was in- 
creased to fourteen ministers, who composed three chambers, one 
for Mexico, one for Peru, and one for hearing cases of justice. 
The latter chamber was made up of trained legal advocates who 
had been made, for the discharge of their duties, independent or 
superior judges (ministros togados). It was their function, in 
addition to their judicial duties, to nominate to the King candi- 
dates for the bishoprics and canonical benefices, and for the 
benches of the audiencias. The councillors of the administrative 
chambers were called, in distinction from the toga-wearing su- 

9 Danvila y Collado, 36; H. E. Bolton, Guide to Materials for the History 
of the United States in the Principal Archives of Mexico (Washington, 1913), 
17; G. Scelle, La Traite Negriere aux hides de Castille (Paris, 1906), I, 

The legislation of the Council was incorporated, with the decrees and 
orders of the kings, into the Recopilacion de Leyes de los Eeinos de las 
Indias, first printed in code form under Charles II in 1681 and passing 
through five editions, the last of which was in 1841. J. M. Antequera, 
Eistoria de la Legislacion Espanola (ed. 2, Madrid, 1884), 480-483, epi- 
tomizes the history of the Recopilacion. For the powers of the Council 
of the Indies consult the 1841 edition, libro 2, titulo 2 throughout, and the 
Index; also Solorzano, Politica Indiana, II, 393-422, and H. H. Bancroft, 
History of Central America (San Francisco, 1882-87), I, 280, note 13. 

18 The Historical Background 

perior judges, ministers of the cape and sword (ministros de 
capa y espada) ; they were not necessarily possessed of legal 

The contaduria general, or accounting department attached 
to the Council, was frequently consulted by that body or by the 
King in matters involving colonial finance. The contador general, 
with functions similar to those of a comptroller, sat with the 
Council in its deliberations, at least during the reign of Charles 
III. Landazuri, the incumbent while Galvez was in America, 
was thus favored, and his opinion was frequently of weight in 
the efforts of the Council to set aside the measures of the visitor 
for reorganization of real hacienda. 

Measures adopted by the King without the intervention of 
the Council were known as reales ordenes. Such measures usu- 
ally concluded with the statement of the minister in charge : 
"De real or den lo comunico a V. para su cumplimiento.^ Cedulas 
were laws and measures which passed through the Council; to 
them were attached the signatures or the rubrics of the members. 10 

The Council of the Indies was abolished by the Cortes of 
April 17, 1812, along with the other councils. It was revived 
in 1814, suppressed in 1820, revived again in 1823, and subsisted 
until 1824, when it was once more suppressed. It came into 
being anew in 1851 under the title Consejo de Ultramar, but was 
ultimately extinguished in 1854. 11 

The reorganization of the Council of the Indies under Philip 

V was accompanied by restrictions of the functions of the Casa 

de Contratacion de Sevilla. This body, created in 1503 by cedula 

* of February 14, as a simple shipping organization, 12 had been 

ioAlaman, Historia de Mejico (Mexico, 1849-52), I, 34-36; Bolton, op. 
et loc. cit. 

ii Antequera, 485. 

12 E. G. Bourne, Spain in America, 1450-1580 (New York, 1904), 221; 
Lafuente, Historia General de Espana (Madrid, 1850-67), IX, 467, cited by 
Bourne. In these works the time of the establishment is indefinitely set 
between the first and second voyages of Columbus; cf. Moses, The Estao- 

The Casa de Contratacion 19 

given control of judicial affairs concerning commerce in 1510. 
In these functions it was largely superseded in 1524 by the 
Council of the Indies, as above noted. The Casa sent out and 
received ships and merchandise, of which it kept the accounts. 
It was its duty to prevent fraud, promote and expedite commerce, 
and to license masters of vessels. It maintained a famous navi- 
gation school, of which Americus Vespucius was the first piloto 
mayor. 13 

In 1717 Philip ordered the offices of the Casa, and of the 
accompanying consulado, or merchants' guild and court, moved 
to Cadiz. The actual transfer occurred in the following year. 
The judicial and administrative functions of the Casa were at j, 
this time reduced to less importance than ever. An intendant- 
general of marine was created, and the Casa was allowed to ex- 
ercise power only in a few minor civil and economic matters. 
It was finally suppressed in 1790, in its place being created a 4e 
sort of consular agent (juez de arribadas) , similar to those al- 
ready provided in the many ports which had by that time been 
opened to commerce. The creation of these consular agents was 
in consonance with the commercial project of 1765, to be de- 
scribed later. 

In 1718 occurred an administrative reform for Spain which 
was to find its way to America during the reign of Charles III. 

lishment of Spanish Mule, 20, note; Danvila y Collado, op. tit., gives some 
details of the organization and later vicissitudes of the Casa. The earliest 
Casa was that of Barcelona, established in 1380. Today, says Danvila, 
we should call the early Seville establishment simply docks — he uses the 
English word, p. 17. 

is Danvila y Collado, 23 ; Joseph de Veitia Linaje, Norte de la Contra- 
tacion de las Indias Occidentals (Seville, 1672), is the author par excellence 
for the early work of the Casa; translation by John Stevens, London, 
[1700?]. Cf. Moses, The Establishment of Spanish Eule, chap. V; The Span- 
ish Dependencies, I, 234-262; Solorzano, Politica Indiana, II, 520-522; E. 
Antuhez y Acevedo, Memorias Historicas sobre la Legislation y Gobierno del 
Comercio de los Espafioles con sus Colonias en las Indias Occidentales (Ma- 
drid, 1797), 1-10; P. Leroy-Beaulieu, De la Colonisation chez les Peuples 
Modemes (Paris, 1908), I, 26-7; Bancroft, History of Central America, I, 
282-283, note. 

20 The Historical Background 

This was the abolition of the old territorial limits of the ancient 
kingdoms, and the appointment of the intendants, contactor es, 
and pagadores for the intendancies, the new administrative dis- 
tricts, which were modeled after those created in France by 
Richelieu and Colbert, though they did not become the arbitrary 
agencies which the French made them. After a brief trial these 
intendancies were suppressed, to reappear under a new ordinance 
in 1749. The intendants had control of four departments of 
Hf ! government, these being treasury, war, justice, and police. The 
ordinance of 1749 served as a model for the ordinances which 
were later enacted for the American possessions. The first 
American intendancy created was that of Havana, under decree 
of October 31, 1764. The intendant of Havana had cognizance 
x of two departments of government, namely, treasury and war. 
His functions were vaguely defined at first, but were clarified 
and made explicit by decrees of 1765 and 1767. 14 

In 1768 Galvez and the viceroy, Croix, granted to Pedro 
Corbalan, with royal sanction, ad interim powers of intendancy 
for Sonora and Sinaloa ; 15 the governor of Vera Cruz, under the 
new method of collecting customs inaugurated by Galvez in 1767, 
also exercised certain functions of an intendant in matters con- 
cerning real hacienda, as will be seen in Chapter V. We shall 
have occasion to return to the subject of the development of the 
intendancies in America in subsequent pages. 

3. Communication with America. — Communication between 
Spain and America was always one of the most important prob- 
lems. From the beginning no voyage could be made from Spain 

14 Dan vila y Collado, 42; cf. D. E. Smith, The Viceroy of New Spain 
(University of California Publications in History, Vol. I, Berkeley, 
1913), 115-119. The Instruccion of October 31, 1764,, noticed above, is 
printed in Zamora y Coronado, Biblioteca de Legislacion Ultramarina 
(Madrid, 1844-46), III, 597-606; many of its paragraphs are practically 
identical in phraseology with paragraphs of the Instruccion reservada given 
to Galvez in 1765 by Arriaga, minister of the Indies; see Appendix. 

is See below, pp. 273, 276. 

Flotas and Galleons 21 

to America without royal license. 16 During the early years fol- 
lowing the Conquest intercourse with the colonies was had by 
means of single ships, some of which belonged to non-Spanish 
subjects of the Spanish kings. 17 Piracy and smuggling rendered 
this system unsafe, and in 1552 an order was made providing for 
sending out fleets of merchant ships under convoy of war vessels. 
In 1561 single ships without convoy were prohibited from making 
the voyage to America. This regulation, allowing only flotas to 
New Spain and galleons to South America, under penalty of loss 
of both ship and cargo in case of disobedience, was as much to 
prevent single ships from secretly leaving or returning to the 
coasts of Spain or Portugal as it was for fear of corsairs. 18 

The rigorous laws prohibiting foreigners' going to the Indies 
were at times tempered. The first to receive the privilege were 
the Portuguese and Genoese. This privilege was withdrawn in 
1549, when they, like all foreigners, were prohibited. Very soon 
this regulation broke down, the Flemings and Germans engaging 
in the trade as well as the two above-mentioned peoples. The 
Casa de Contratacion objected, but Charles V feared that the 
discontent of those whom the Casa wished to exclude would re- 
dound to the prejudice of Spain. He therefore in 1551 per- 
mitted the trade to non-Spanish subjects. 19 

16 Eecopilacion, ley 4, tit. 1, lib. 4, and ley 1, tit. 2, lib. 4; Scelle, La 
Traite Negriere, I, 14. 

17 On December 4, 1537, the Casa de Contratacion complained to Charles 
V that the Portuguese vessels which enjoyed slave-trade licenses to the 
Indies under obligation to make the port of Seville upon the return journey 
had failed to comply with their obligation (J. A. Saco, Historia de la 
Esclavitud, Barcelona, 1875-79, I, 174, 180-181). The purpose of the 
single ships, buques de aviso, was to carry mail, but they also transported 
small cargoes of merchandise. "War vessels were also used to transport 
quicksilver, which was sold to the miners for the account of real hacienda 
(Pablo Macedo, Tres 'Monografias, I, La Evolution Mercantil, Mexico, 1905, 
16). , 

18 Macedo, op. et loc. tit.; see W. Lowery, The Spanish Settlements 
within the Present Limits of the United States. Florida, 1562-1574 (New 
York, 1911), 3-27, "The Spanish Treasure Fleets and Florida." E. Burke, 
An Account of the European Settlements in America (London, 1808), 178-9. 

is Saco, I, 199-200. 

22 The Historical Background 

Even the regular fleets, while they "formed the only author- 
ized communication between the Indies and Europe, were to a 
considerable extent navigated by Flemings and Englishmen, who 
thus acquired a thorough acquaintance with American waters, 
and had many friends in every port." 20 

The trading fleets carried their merchandise to Vera Cruz 
and Porto Bello, where it was sold in great fairs 21 at which the 
colonial merchants bought their stock from the representatives 
of the consulado of Cadiz or of the commercial guilds (gremios 
may ores) 22 of Madrid. The Jalapa fairs, at which imports to 
Vera Cruz were sold, began in 1720. Three deputies from the 
commercial interests of Spain came to Jalapa to conduct it. Sub- 
sequent fairs were held in the years 1723, 1725, 1729, 1732, and 

2 A. P. Newton, The Colonising Activities of the English Puritans (Yale 
Historical Publications, New Haven, 1914), 13-14. 

21 Fairs were held at Panama until 1671, the year of Morgan 's raid. 
Tn 1655 the goods exchanged at this fair were officially reported as of five 
million pesos' value, the smuggled goods probably being three or four 
times as much (Bancroft, History of Central America, II, 480-481). 

22 The qremios were a survival of the medieval guild system, which 
began to flourish in Spain in the twelfth century. In the modern era the 
guilds of Spain were controlled under ordinances promulgated in 1511 and 
amplified frequently during the centuries, until Charles III began to re- 
strict the monopolies of industry which these bodies enjoyed. The cinco 
gremios mayores de Madrid operated under ordinances of 1686 and later 
legislation. They controlled the manufacture and sale of silk, woolens, 
linens, spices, drugs, and jewels. Tn 1763 they took the contract for the 
collection of the royal revenues of Madrid, forming at that time a privil- 
eged commercial companv, with license for twelve years to engage in com- 
merce by land or sea. They established factories in Valencia, warehouses 
in Cadiz and other cities of Spain and in the ports of the Indies, and 
maintained a number of merchant vessels. 

The gremios of Madrid leased many of the royal revenues, supplied the 
city with food — even furnishing grain for the entire kingdom — made loans, 
constructed roads, built aqueducts, cleared and planted lands, and raised 
troops to repel English invasions in 1770-71. A number of subsidiary 
commercial companies were launched under their protection, which engaged 
in numerous mercantile activities. 

In 1788 the gremios were possessors of property appraised at 260,000,000 
reals, but their prosperity was destroyed by their contract to supply the 
army and navy with food; under this contract, during the protracted wars 
from 1793 to 1814, they suffered losses which obliged them to suspend 
payment of dividends to members and interest on funds placed in their 
care (abstracted from M. Colmeiro, Historia de la Economia Politica en 
Espana, Madrid, 1863, II, 237-51, 463-464). 

Foreign Interlopers 23 

1736. Between 1737 and 1748 no fairs were held, on account of 
the interruption of the flotas. These were resumed in 1749, a 
fair being held in that year. Later ones occurred in 1757, 1760, 
1762, 1765, 1769, 1772, and the last one in 1776. In all 101 
flotas were sent to Vera Cruz. Fifteen of them came between 
1565 and 1600. In the seventeenth century sixty-six flotas came ; 
the remaining twenty arrived between 1706 and 1776. 23 

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the agriculture, in- 
dustry, and commerce of Spain suffered, as a result of the na- 
tional lust for conquest and disdain for physical labor, to such 
an extent that commerce between the Indies and the Peninsula 
fell more and more exclusively into the hands of foreigners. If 
the requirement that exports should be national had been rigidly 
adhered to, says Ferrer del Rio, the fleets and galleons would 
have gone out practically in ballast. The Casa de Contratacion 
became little other than a factory for foreign merchants, to 
whom the treasure brought from the Indies was paid out. Con- 
traband, distributed from the islands of the Atlantic and from 
the Philippines, made great inroads upon legitimate trade. 
Spain held the dominion, but men of other nations held the 
usufruct, of America. This condition began to find amelioration 
upon the advent of the House of Bourbon. 24 

In 1718 Philip V began the despatch from Cadiz of four 
annual mail ships round Cape Horn to Peru, and as many more 
to New Spain. These vessels were to be sent at regular intervals 
between sailings of the fleets. The single ships did not prove 
successful at first, and the fleets and galleons continued to be the 
dependable means of communication and trade until 1735. After 

23 M. Lerdo de Tejada, Comercio Esterior de Mexico (Mexico, 1853), 
Doc. No. 1. 

24 Ferrer del Eio, Historia del Eeinado de Carlos III en Espaiia, I, 443-5. 
Cf. Hipolito Villaroel, Enfermedades Politicas (printed by C. M. Bust- 
mente in Voz de la Patria, Tom. IV, Suplemento Num. 1, Sept. 11, 1830), 
pp. 151-4. See also C. H. Haring, The Buccaneers in the West Indies in the 
XVII Century (New York, 1910), Introd., 5-28. 


24 The Historical Background 

that date individuals might send vessels to America, but only 
upon obtaining licenses from Madrid, and after inspections and 
payment of duties which seriously handicapped commerce. In 
1764 a monthly mail service was established between Corufia and 
Havana. So far as the South American trade was concerned, 
the despatch of single ships around the Horn resulted in a new 
era, the galleons proving of secondary value and being discon- 
tinued after 1748. The policy of sending armed convoys was 
not discontinued until the reorganization brought about by the 
adoption of the Reglamento of "free commerce" in 1778, a piece 
of legislation which is one of the most conspicuous services of 
the ministry of Galvez. Between 1728 and 1739 two hundred 
and twenty-two vessels arrived at Vera Cruz; fifty-eight came 
in three flotas, and the remainder from Spanish- American ports. 
Between 1739 and 1750 the commerce of Spain with her colonies 
was interrupted by war with England ; during that period neu- 
tral vessels were admitted to the American trade. 25 

Commerce with America was in some measure facilitated and 
encouraged by reductions of duties in a new schedule adopted in 
1720, known as the Proyecto de Comercio. Merchandise on the 
fleets and galleons had hitherto paid export duties at Cadiz and 
Seville, and import duties at Porto Bello and Cartagena. Philip 
V ordered that neither in America nor in Spain should duties 
be paid except upon exportation. 26 This schedule remained in 
force until the advent of the new commercial system which began 
in 1764 and continued throughout the Bourbon ascendancy. 

It is evident from the foregoing that the reign of Philip V 
saw inaugurated the policy which came to its highest efficiency 

25 Lerdo de Tejada, op. cit., 7-12, and Doc. 12. Altamira, Historia de 
Espana, IV, 293. Alaman, Disertaciones, III, 270-271. Danvila y Collado, 
op. cit., 39. Antunez y Acevedo, op. cit., contains a detailed account of 
the fleets and galleons; see especially 41-129. G. Scelle, La Traite 
Negriere, I, 44-69. Saco, passim. 

26 Colmeiro, Historia de la Economia Politica en Espana, II, 414-415; 
see below, p. 187. Undoubtedly import duties continued to be collected in 

Enlightened Despotism 25 

during the reign of Charles III. During the peaceful reign of 
Ferdinand VI colonial policy and administration were little 
changed. The King devoted his energy to maintaining a strict 
neutrality, in spite of urgent overtures from both France and 
England to enter into alliance. For a period of fourteen years 
Spain was permitted to have peace. The resources of the country 
were developed, the revenues which Orry had left leased to cus- 
toms farmers were taken under crown administration, and the 
army and navy were increased and improved. 

4. Reforms of Charles III. — Thus when Charles III came to 
the Spanish throne in 1759 he found a country in great measure 
ripe for the awakening it was to experience under his manage- 
ment. Mention has already been made of two reforms effected 
by him which had to do with the colonial situation, namely, the 
inception of the transplanting of the intendancy system to 
America, and the beginning of the removal of restrictions upon 
commerce. Both of these innovations began in 1764. The grad- 
ual emancipation of commerce from its ancient bonds and re- 
strictions was the execution of a general plan for the increase 
of the royal income and for the amelioration of economic condi- 
tions both in New Spain and in the Peninsula. Of this plan the 
appointment of Galvez as visitor-general of New Spain was a 
part. The Instruccion reservada of March 14, 1765, to that offi- 
cial is a succinct statement of the broad lines upon which the new 
colonial administration was to be built. 27 

5. Moribund American trade. — The commercial reforms 
brought about during the reign of Charles III were outlined, 
for the most part, in a project which was reported to the King 
by a junta of men skilled in commercial affairs on February 14, 
1765. The members of this junta were the Marques de las 
Llamas, Don Francisco Craywinckel, Don Simon de Aragorri, 
Don Pedro Goosens, and Don Tomas de Landazuri. 

2T See Appendix. Cf. Smith, The Viceroy of New Spain, 100-112. 

26 The Historical Background 

The junta debated whether it should consider reforms for the 
interior commerce of the Peninsula, commerce between Spain and 
foreign countries, or that between Spain and the Indies. The 
decision was that questions of colonial trade were least involved 
with policies of government outside the province of the junta, 
and at the same time likeliest to yield quick and desirable results. 
Hence the special duty was to discuss measures for the rehabili- 
tation of the decadent colonial trade. What were the causes for 
its decline, and what means could be taken to restore it V 8 

The report of the junta was made one week prior to the official 
appointment of Galvez as visitor-general. Hence it is indubit- 
able that he, living in Madrid and well known in official circles, 
was au courant with any plans which were being evolved for the 
New World to which he was about to embark. The junta went 
thoroughly into the commercial situation, and, without mincing 
* matters, made eight specific charges against the existing system 
of government control of trade as the causes of its decay. 
a \The first of these causes was the monopoly of shipping enjoyed 

by Cadiz,M;o the prejudice of other ports of Spain, and to other 
provinces as well, through the concomitant restriction of their 
industries. The location itself of Cadiz was unpropitious for 
the development of trade, as the port was especially liable to 
attack from Barbary pirates and other enemies — a fact which 
necessarily increased the costs of armament and marine in- 
r K The second impediment to commerce was the system of de- 
spatching merchandise by the fleets and galleons, with limitation 
of the number of vessels which might engage in trade under 
license from Madrid, and with burdensome formalities at Cadiz^ 9 

28 Consulta . . . sobre el proyecto de comercio de America, MS, A. H. N., 
Leg. 2314. 

29 Details of these formalities are given in Eousseau, Eegne de Charles 
III d'Espagne, II, 26-28; Desdevises du Desert, L'Espagne de VAncien 
Begime, II, Les Institutions, 342. For restrictions at Vera Cruz see chapter 
V of the present work, especially pp. 185-6, 192-3. 

Impediments to Commerce 27 

Navigation under convoy retarded business, increased costs and 
hence freight rates, besides causing losses of opportunity for 
sales by reason of its slowness. The limitation of the number of 
licensed ships (navios de registro) caused losses and uncertainties 
to owners of vessels. There were usually three times as many 
ships in waiting as there were employed — a situation which of 
course caused additional expense in freight charges. High ex- 
port duties added to high freight rates made it unprofitable for 
Spanish ships to visit any but the largest American ports. As 
a result smaller ports were driven by neglect to seek trade with 
foreigners, and the latter utilized this opportunity to encroach 
upon Spanish territory. 

\A third impediment was the system of levying export duties 
on liquors, the tonnage duty. 30 ^ For instance, a barrel of wine 
worth six or seven pesos in Spain paid fourteen or sixteen pesos, 
sometimes even twenty pesos, freight. The added tonnage duty, 
with the import duty at Vera Cruz, brought the price of the 
barrel to thirty-five pesos at that port. Transportation and 
duties at Mexico increased the amount there to forty-eight pesos. 
Naturally the consumption of Spanish wine was diminished, while 
planting of vineyards and olive orchards in the Indies, to the 
prejudice of Andalusian viticulture, was increased. Further- 
more, the collection of the tonnage duty in advance of the lading 
of vessels was an embarrassment to many shipowners, preventing 
them from using their licenses once these were obtained. 

so The tonelada, on vessels engaged in the American trade, was first 
levied in 1608 to defray the expenses of the consulado or Universidad 6 
cofradia de navegantes 6 mareantes de Sevilla, which had been established 
March 22, 1569. The impost was at first one and one-half real in silver 
for each ton. To this was 'added a half real in 1632. After 1755 the 
increase in the impost was such that every ton on the flota vessels to Vera 
Cruz paid 1406 reals vellon as palmeo, and 1406 reals on stop-gap and 
ballast cargo, with 671 reals on products. These duties were not equal 
for all vessels which came to America, but were graduated in accordance 
with the importance of the port to which a vessel was bound (Lerdo de 
Tejada, Comercio Esterior, 14). 

28 The Historical Background 

stf NThe fourth cause of restricted American trade was the prac- 

tice of collecting palmeo, or duty, on the bulk or volume of goods 
without reference to quality or value. 3 ^ Coarse fabrics paid the 
same duty as lace or rich cloths. This resulted in discrimination 
against Spanish goods, which were usually coarser than fabrics 
imported for reshipment to America. Assessment of duty ac- 
^ cording to volume had the added disadvantage of preventing 
merchants from knowing what kind of goods their competitors 
were shipping ; hence some varieties of merchandise were shipped 
in excessive quantities, while other needed supplies were lacking. 
This of course lent encouragement to smuggling'. Worse than 
this, the Spanish government was also prevented from ascertain- 
ing exactly what amount of foreign goods was imported, so that 
no reliable data could be obtained for guidance in framing a 
successful foreign commercial policy. 

>A fifth reason for decline of commerce was the neglect of 
agriculture in America, due to scarcity of negro slaves/ Vessels 
were often obliged to return from America with insufficient car- 
goes, as sometimes there were not enough colonial exports ready 
for shipment. The Spaniards, having abandoned the slave-trade, 
were obliged to purchase negroes from other nations at exorbi- 
tant prices. 
"'"•The sixth cause was failure to enforce the laws which prohib- 
V ^ ited planting of vineyards and olive orchards, distilling native 
beverages, and manufacturing cloth in the Indies.^ Such Amer- 
ican industries were prejudicial to Spanish agriculture, manu- 
facture, and commerce. The trade of the Philippines with New 
\ Spain was also thought to be injurious to Spain, on account of 
the large importation of Chinese goods and the exportation of 
silver in exchange, depriving the colony of ready money for the 
European trade. 

si The palmeo was introduced by Philip V in the Proyecto of 1720 
(Colmeiro, Historia de la Economia Politica en Espana, II, 416). 


Smuggling 29 

\The seventh cause of decadence was the high import duty on 
v gold, silver, and other products from America.N The duties on 
gold and silver lent encouragement to export to foreign colonies 
and to smuggling. Duties on other products diminished export, 
especially of cheap, bulky goods. Lack of distinction in the 
duties levied as to whether goods were raw products intended for 
manufacture or intended for immediate consumption, as well as 
failure to distinguish between goods common to all nations and 
those peculiarly Spanish, destroyed advantages which nature had 
conceded to Spanish manufacture and commerce. 

Finally, the culmination of the forces of the above mentioned 
conditions caused the notorious bane of the restrictive system, 1 
smuggling. It was the logical outcome of the centuries-old policy 
of restriction, and radical change was needed to uproot it. 32 y 

The policy adopted by Spain of monopolizing American trade 
had never proven successful. It was violated by all of the Euro- 
pean maritime nations in turn. At the beginning of the reign 
of Philip V, when France was earnestly engaged in rehabilitation 
of Spanish prosperity, French ships were actively trading in the 
waters of South America. They continued to do so until the 
close of the War of the Spanish Succession, when Louis XIV 
forbade the practice. That monarch interested himself finan- 
cially, as did Philip, in the slave-trade of the Guinea Company, 
and in its practically free commerce from French or Spanish 
ports indiscriminately with those of America. During this 
period French vessels enjoyed a preponderance of the Spanish 

32 The policy of the Spanish commercial interests was to keep the 
American markets as bare of supplies as possible, in order that exorbitant 
prices might be charged upon goods there laid down. During the seven- 
teenth century Panama was /a hotbed of smuggling activities. "In the 
year 1624 the amount of merchandise registered as passing through the 
Casa de Cruces was 1,446,346 pesos, while goods to the amount of 7,597,559 
pesos were reported by the factor, Cristobal de Balboa, to have been 
smuggled through. Thus 1,370,656 pesos revenue were lost to the crown. 
The very existence of legitimate commerce was threatened" (H. H. Ban- 
croft, History of Central America, II, 438, 473 and note). Cf. Colmeiro, 
II, 371-3. 

30 The Historical Background 

carrying trade. The notorious smuggling engaged in by the 
Guinea Company was its greatest aggression against the Spanish 
colonial policy. 33 

With the close of the War of the Spanish Succession England 
appeared as a claimant for privileges. These were obtained 
under the famous asiento in which Queen Anne of England was 
associated financially with Philip just as Louis had been. The 
purpose of the contract was to permit the English to import 
4800 negroes annually into Spanish America. Its chief import- 
ance lay in the privilege enjoyed by England to send a ship 
annually from the Canary Islands to America duty free. This 
vessel, allowed to carry 500 tons of English merchandise to the 
fairs of the Spanish Atlantic ports, soon began to carry goods 
far in excess of that amount. By 1736 it was carrying 850 tons, 
and remained many months in front of Porto Bello as a floating 
warehouse ; at least forty English vessels of light draught were 
plying trade on the Atlantic seaboard of the Spanish colonies, 
in spite of protests. After the treaties of 1713, the English mer- 
chants established themselves under the asiento agreement, which 
allowed them to watch over slave importations, at Vera Cruz in 
strong commercial houses which soon seized and dominated the 
import trade until near the end of the nineteenth century, when 
they were superseded by French and German houses. 34 British 
factories were also established at Cartagena and Porto Bello. 35 
In the La Plata region of South America the English obtained 
vaguely bounded territory upon which to establish plantations 
where their negroes could be employed. This concession led to 
constant breaches of faith and complaints from both parties. 
In 1750 the asiento was terminated, 36 but by that time the smug- 

33 Altamira, IV, 304-5. 

34 Bancroft, History of Central America, II, 587. 
ss Macedo, 35. 

36 For an epitome of the asiento provisions see Bancroft, History of 
Central America, II, 587, note 20; J. A. Saco, I, 298; Moses, The Spanish 
Dependencies, II, 268 et seq.; Scelle, II, 523 et seq. 

Failure of Monopoly 31 

gling trade was too well established. The Seven Years' War was 
a period of unprecedented contraband prosperity, which con- 
tinued after peace was declared. During the latter half of the 
eighteenth century the Portuguese, the French, the Dutch, the 
English, and finally the Americans were all engaged in illicit 
commerce with the inhabitants of Spanish America, both on the 
Atlantic and the Pacific coasts. 37 

Smuggling on the grand scale which developed could not 
have been carried on had it not been welcomed by Spanish mer- 
chants and customs officials. 38 Ecclesiastics, too, availed them- 
selves of immunity from payment of import duties on goods for 
their own use to bring in large quantities of merchandise which 
found its way into the markets. In most cases smuggling was 
permitted for simple commercial advantage, though actual neces- 
sity at times prompted it, especially in ports unfrequented by 
Spanish ships. 39 

No other result could have followed from the restrictions 
thrown around commerce. It is doubtless true that these re- 
strictions were necessitated by the force of circumstances. Al- 
ways at war with other colonial powers, Spain had to guard her 
colonial products from nations whose seamen usually excelled her 
own in dexterity of navigation. It cannot, however, be said that 
exclusive claim to the national trade was characteristic of Spain 
alone. Her method was but an accentuation of the systems 
early evolved by her rivals with regard to their own colonies. 
In the end such restriction worked to the discomfiture of all 
nations alike. 40 

37 ' < The greatest number of English and Anglo-American vessels which 
enter the great ocean have the double object in view of carrying on the 
cachelot fishery and an illicit commerce with the Spanish colonies" (A. 
von Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, London, 
1814, III, 87). In 1800, 1801, and 1802 there were twenty such whalers 
from the United States {ibid., 94). 

ss F. Eousseau, II, 25. See below, pp. 184, 185. 

39 Altamira, IV, 309; see below, pp. 202-5. 

4 Scelle, La Traite Negriere, I, 68. 

32 The Historical Background 

\ 6. Remedies proposed.-\The first remedy proposed by the 
junta of 1765 for the unfortunate condition of colonial commerce 
was to destroy the monopoly of Cadiz by opening the privilege 
of American trade to all the provinces of Spain.\ This would 
foment agriculture and navigation, and drive the foreign mer- 
chants out of Cadiz, where they were intrenched under the same 
privileges as nationals. 41 The ports which it was proposed to 
open were Barcelona, Tortosa, Alicante, Cartagena, Malaga, Se- 
ville, Vigo, Gijon, Santander, Santona or Laredo, Bilbao, and San 
Sebastian. About thirty-five ports in America should be per- 
mitted to trade with the above Spanish ports. \ The recommen- 
dation of the junta was followed with fair promptnessABy royal 
decree of October 16, 1765, the ports of Cuba, Santo Domingo, 
Porto Rico, Margarita, and Trinidad were opened to trade from 
Cadiz, Seville, Alicante, Cartagena, Malaga, Barcelona, Santan- 
der, Corufla, and Gijon. \At the same time the palmeo, tonelada, 
and other duties were ordered abolished, ad valorem duties being 
substituted, while visitation and licensing of vessels was done 
away with. 42 \ On October 12, 1778, commerce generally with all 
the Indies (except Mexico and Venezuela) was opened to the 
above ports and to Almeria, Tortosa, Palm a en Mallorca, and 
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in the Canaries. Vigo was added to the 
list of open ports in 1783. Grau in Valencia received the same 
privilege in 1791, making thirteen ports in the Peninsula and 
two insular ports which enjoyed the privilege of American trade. 
In 1789 the American colonies without distinction were opened 
to free commerce with Spain?\ Prior to this, in 1774, Peru, New 

41 There were at this time about one hundred British wholesale mer- 
chants at Cadiz, engaged in shipping articles of household and other 
common use to the Spanish colonies. Of French houses there were 154, 
seventy-two of which were engaged in the wholesale Indies trade. Many 
more were engaged in local business. In Madrid there were ten or twelve 
thousand French, while many were established at Bilbao, Barcelona, and 
Seville. This in spite of the opposition to them which marked the reig/is 
of Ferdinand VI and Charles III (Eousseau, II, 20). 

42Antunez y Acevedo, 36-37; Saco, I, 325. Ferrer del Rio, I, 463-5. 

Reduction of Duties 33 

Spain, Guatemala, and New Granada were relieved of some of 
the prohibitions which had hitherto prevented mutual commer- 
cial intercourse. 43 In the meantime the insistence of the Louis- 
iana colonists had obtained for them, by decree of March 23, 
1768, comparative freedom of commerce, on the basis of the prior 
French regulations. On July 5, 1770, Campeche obtained the 
freedom of importing from Vera Cruz which Galvez asked for 
in 1768, as will be noticed in detail in Chapter V of this work.^j 

\The junta further recommended that the system of fleets and 
galleons, with all their costly formalities, should be abolished. 
Every vessel should be allowed to sail when and whither it would .\ 
Commerce to unfrequented American ports, such as those of 
Porto Rico, Santo Domingo, and Cumana, should be encouraged 
by having duties remitted. The minister of the Indies should 
have a delegate in every open port to give licenses and passports, 
without the necessity of recourse to Madrid for authority. 

\ Duties should be collected on an ad valorem basis; no foreign f/ 
produce or liquors should be shipped to America;, in conformity 
with the prohibition placed on foreign liquors in 1755. All goods 
except flour — which should be duty free — should pay five per 
cent duty. Foreign flour, if required to supply deficiency of 
home production, should pay twelve reals duty per quintal. All 
^Spanish manufactures should be exported duty free, as a means 
of increasing internal revenues. 

All foreign manufactures, besides paying entry duties, should 
pay six per cent export duty or more if necessary to protect 
Spanish manufactures S Special favors then enjoyed by the 
custom-houses of Andalusia should be countervailed by a per- 
centage of increase necessary to equalize the advantages of all 
parts of Spain until internal duties could be rendered uniform. 
fin order to prevent smuggling of imports from America, duties 
should be reduced both for importation and exportation 1 ! In 


43Saco, I, 329; Colmeiro, II, 407; Macedo, 24. 

34 The Historical Background 

principle, duties should be reduced in proportion to the ease with 
which smuggling was effected, and with respect to the value of 
the goods. Moderate rates should be collected in American ports. 
The duties should be lessened by half, as abolition of the fleets 
would put an end to the fairs, and so the expense connected with 
the sale of goods would be diminished. 

\In order to prevent loss of revenue as a result of these re- 
ductions, the prohibition of vineyards in the Indies should be 
rigorously enforced. 44 ^Vineyards already in existence should 
pay eight per cent instead of a prevailing two per cent of their 
annual product in addition to a two or four per cent increase 
of duty on the liquors produced. More negroes should be sent 
y/^to America, in Spanish ships, and duty free, while for slaves 
imported by foreign traders a duty of twenty pesos per capita 
should be charged. 45 Development of American mines should 
be encouraged by reductions in the price of mercury, which was 
monopolized by the government. The three commercial com- 
panies of Caracas, Havana, and Barcelona should be limited in 
their privileges, and not allowed to engage in general commerce. 46 

44 See below, p. 54. 

45 Impulse to the slave trade was given by royal decrees of February 2 
and October 12, 1778 (Saco, I, 337). 

46 The Caracas, or Guipuzcoa, company was organized in 1728 under 
the auspices of Patino for the purpose of supplying the existing deficiency 
of cacao in Spain. It was conceded the privilege of sending from Gui- 
puzcoa to Caracas two registered vessels, bearing national products and 
armed for war, to trade for gold, silver, cacao, and other colonial products. 
The trade route for this company led first to La Guayra and then to 
Porto Bello, where the ships discharged cargo and returned to Cadiz. 
They might, after supplying Venezuela, send the remainder of their sup- 
plies to Cumana, Trinidad, Guayana, and Margarita. Furthermore, and 
most important, they were to police the seas and coasts of Venezuela to 
prevent smuggling. For this service they were granted two-thirds of the 
value of their prizes. After 1752 the commerce of the province of Mara- 
caibo was granted to this company. In its time it possessed twelve freight 
ships and nineteen coast-guard vessels, and employed 2500 seamen. Pros- 
perous until the war of 1779, the company found its profits then dimin- 
ished, and undertook to recoup its fortunes by engaging in contraband 
with the Dutch at Curasao. On February 15, 1781, Charles III revoked 
its title as a royal company. It was in 1784 reorganized for the purpose 
of engaging in the Philippine trade by way of Cape Horn, Peru, thence 
to the islands, and back to Cadiz around the Cape of Good Hope. This 

Changed Commercial Programme 35 

\ Most important and inclusive of all, effective measures should 
be taken against contraband trade. \ The productions of Spanish 
America, largely precious metals, were estimated by the junta 
of 1765 to be about 35,000,000 pesos annually. Of this amount 
only 19,500,000 pesos reached Spain. The rest went mostly to 
English possessions in exchange for negroes and flour. About 
4,000,000 pesos were consumed in America in expenses of gov- 
ernment. 47 

Such were the plans for the restoration of commerce in 1765. 
Many of these suggestions were put into effect with some prompt- 
ness, as has been indicated. The broadest of them waited until 
the great Reglamento of 1778, which was carried into effect as 
part of the programme of Jose de Galvez, minister of the Indies. 
These plans constituted, in broad outline, the policy of commer- 
cial reform adhered to during the reign of Charles III. \It is 
both interesting to note that the plan was formed early in the 
reign, and that Galvez was cognizant of it from the beginning. 
That he was from the first committed to the spirit of the proposed 
reforms may be inferred from the coincidence of the date of his 
appointment with that of the report of the junta. 48 \ We also 

commerce was a failure, as it was opposed by the gremios, which held 
concessions in the Philippine trade. The Dutch also opposed the plan, 
alleging that it was forbidden by the bull of Alexander VI (Rousseau, 
II, 305-6, citing A. H. N., Estado, leg. 4075, Aranda to Floridablanca, 
Paris, February 20, 1787. This letter is a discussion of the rights of 
Spaniards to navigate around the Cape of Good Hope). Cf. Floridablanca, 
Apology, art. 27, in W. Coxe, Memoirs of the Kings of Spain of the House 
of Bourbon (ed. 2, London, 1815), V, 315. For additional data on the 
Guipuzcoa Company see Colmeiro, II, 460-1, and Moses, The Spanish 
Dependencies, II, chapter xiv. 

The Havana company was organized in 1740. Its business was to trade 
between Cuba and Spain. It was also obliged to perform certain military 
duties. As late as 1785 it still owned a frigate and a packet, the remnants 
of a larger fleet (Colmeiro, II, 462). 

The commercial interests of Barcelona founded the Santo Domingo or 
Catalonia company in 1751 for the trade with La Espanola. At the close 
of the eighteenth century it still had two frigates and two packets. Its 
commercial importance was very slight {ibid.). 

47 Consulta sobre el proyecto de Comercio de America, A. H. N., Leg. 2314. 

48 "Carlos III, mostrandose docil a los consejos de su sabio ministro el 
marques de la Sonora [Galvez], dio el primer paso en el camino-de la 


36 The Historical Background 

know that Galvez served for a period as secretary to the French 
ambassador, and later in the same capacity under Grimaldi. His 
nine months ' service as alcalde de corte, a position which brought 
him into direct contact with the Council of Castile, also tended 
to place him in intimate relations with such men as Campomanes 
and Monino ; that he was thoroughly en rapport with the reform 
spirit of the age will develop more fully in the sequel. His work 
for the reduction of the price of mercury, for lower rates of 
export duty from Vera Cruz, and his vehement partisanship for 
the intendant system will demonstrate his early adhesion to the 
policies which characterized the reign of Charles. 

Nit is not maintained here that Galvez was the initiator of 
these reforms. \ As has already been said, most of them were in 
process of evolution even before Charles III came to the throne. 
A curiously striking indication of this fact lies in the marked 
:^. similarity between two notable books on Spanish economic re- 
form. To Jose Campillo y Cosio, minister of finance and war, 
^ who died in 1743, is ascribed authorship of a posthumous work 
entitled Nuevo Sistema de Gobierno,* 9 in which are advocated 
many of the changes in duties and trade regulations which were 
finally recommended by the junta whose report we have already 
noticed. Campillo died suddenly, in the midst of his work, and 
the reforms he advocated were delayed. The manuscript of the 
Nuevo Sistema was later found and published under his name. 
Strangely enough, another posthumous work, the Proyecto Econ- 
omico, attributed to Bernardo Ward, who died about 1760, was 
published in 1779, the writing of the manuscript having been 
begun as early as 1754. In this shape the work was known and 
commented upon in Madrid in 1763. 50 It is significant to notice 


libertad mercantil; pero este ejemplo no fue por desgracia seguido de los 
reyes posteriores a quienes cumplia acabar la obra" (Colmeiro, II, 414). 
Cf. Colmeiro 's chapter lxxviii, " Sistema Colonial," II, 375-423. 

49 Madrid, 1789, second impression. 

so The remarkable thing about these two books is that, for several 
scores of pages, they contain recommendations for America which are 

Origins of the Reforms 37 

that both these works urge as the salient point of the plan of 
American reform the need of a general visitation of all the col- 
onies, in order that certain inveterate abuses there may be wiped 
out. The recommendation is made by each author that the 
general visitation should be followed by the establishment of 
intendancies in all America, just as was actually done ultimately. 
In many other ideas, such as restriction of the gremios and free- 
dom of commerce according to prevalent ideas of the time, the 
works presage the colonial policy of Charles III. In the main 
these two books follow in the footsteps of economic reform indi- 
cated by Bernardo Ulloa and his greater predecessor, Jeronimo _nL' 
de Uztariz, who, born in 1689, was influential in the world of 
economics during the reign of Philip V. VNo more concrete 
evidence is needed, if any were lacking, to show that the reign 
•of Charles III only brought to fruition as best it might those 
economic ideas which had their beginning with the advent of the 
Bourbon House upon the Spanish throne. 51 ^ 

7. Influence of Choiseul. — The reforms of commerce and ad- 
ministration credited to the reign of Charles III are not properly 
appreciated unless envisaged as phases of the struggle between 

identical not only in content but in actual words. Such variations in the 
texts as occur are those which, in the work of Ward, would be needed in 
order to adapt the work to changes in economic conditions which had 
ensued since the writing of the first work by Campillo. It is probable, 
then, that the earlier work is the genuine one, though Ward cannot be 
accused of plagiarism, as he has left no claim to the work as his own, it 
being merely found among his papers, as was the case also with Campillo. 
A definite decision as to who wrote the book is not possible with present 
data, inasmuch as no imprint was made from any copy until both econo- 
mists were dead, and Ward may have simply had in his possession a copy 
of Campillo 's manuscript which he intended to use for annotation only. 
It is hardly likely that a copy of Ward's manuscript would have been put 
into any remaining collection of Campillo 's writings, so the preponderance 
of likelihood is that the work was composed before the death of Campillo. 
51 J. Campillo y Cosio, Nuevo Sistema de Gobierno, Madrid, 1789; Ber- 
nardo Ward, Proyecto Economico, Madrid, 1779; on Ward and his book see 
B. H. I. Palgrave, Dictionary of Political Economy (London, 1908), III, 
f>56; on Ulloa, ibid., Ill, 597; on Uztariz, ibid., Ill, 604. Strangely enough, 
Colmeiro, though he cites both works together frequently in parallel pas- 
sages, has nothing to say concerning their remarkable textual similarity. 

38 The Historical Background 

France and England for mastery. The kernel of the French 
policy in this contest during the latter part of the eighteenth 
century is the Family Pact of 1761, so often characterized as the 
master idea of Choiseul, the French minister (1758-70). The 
economic aspects of this treaty deserve more than passing notice. 
From 1715 to 1758 England had realized in both Spain and 
America the ambitions which France had been able merely to 
covet. By a series of treaties culminating in that of 1750 the 
British had won a virtual protectorate over Spain herself, while 
in America they had made inroads by occupation of parts of 
Central America, by opening routes through Brazil to Peru and 
Chile, and by advancing into Florida and upon the Gulf coast, 
while the distribution of contraband merchandise from Jamaica 
spread throughout all Spanish America. 

The diplomacy of Choiseul was to arrest this advance, and 
to replace English by French interests. The Bourbon system 
was needed to effect a union of interests by which their several 
domains would become a unit from the Adriatic to the North 
Sea. But Spain could become useful to France only by being 
made a strong nation. This could be brought about only by a 
' commercial and colonial reform which should assimilate the gov- 
ernmental machinery of Spain, and her commercial interests, to 
those of France. The object of France was to augment the com- 
merce of Spain so as to make her a useful ally; Spain would 
profit as much as France, but her people and ministers alike had 
to be educated to this view. 

The task of representing Choiseul confidentially at Madrid 
was committed to the Abbe Beliardi, agent of commerce and 
marine for France in Spain after 1757. The inception of the 
policy of maintaining such agents in Spain began during the 
War of the Spanish Succession. Theoretically their duties were 
purely commercial, but they were in reality close representatives 
of the French minister, often practically replacing the ambas- 

Beliardi Choiseul' s Agent 39 

sador. This was particularly true of Beliardi, who, more ener- 
getic and adaptable than the ambassador, the Marquis d'Ossun 
(1758-1778), became the active personal agent of Choiseul in the 
development of economic reforms for Spain. 

From 1758 to 1763 was a period of investigation and prepar- 
ation for the economic union contemplated under the Family 
Pact. During this time the details of commerce, navigation, 
and exchange were carefully dealt with by Beliardi in memorials 
presented to his chief. In 1762 he ordered the French consuls in 
Spain to collect all the Spanish rules and regulations of com- 
merce, all the schedules of export and import duties on foreign 
goods, and those on Spanish goods into France, all the usages of 
navigation, and all complaints of Spaniards against French laws 
and usage. In 1763 he compiled a report which complemented 
the reports S)i the consuls, which he entitled Le Grand Memoirs 
sur le Commerce des Indes. This was a detailed study of the 
commerce and resources of the Spanish colonies, a discussion of 
the impediments which inhibited the economic development of 
the Spanish empire, an expose of the contraband trade, and a 
system of measures to remedy the existing state of affairs, with 
an indication of the advantages which France might obtain from 
reform of the Spanish colonies. 

It is of more than passing interest to the present study to 
note that immediately upon the completion of these reports 
Beliardi was called to Paris to consult with Choiseul concerning 
a general politico-economic plan to be proposed to the Spanish 
court, with a series of immediate measures to be taken. From 
December, 1763, to May, 1765, Beliardi was in Paris. It was 
during this period that active measures were taken by the Span- 
ish court to send a visitor-general to America. When Beliardi 
returned to Madrid in July Jose de Galvez was about to dis- 
embark at Vera Cruz on his mission. It is to the passing com- 
plaint of Francisco Carrasco, who was first chosen for the Amer^ 

40 The Historical Background 

ican visitation, to the effect that the French ambassador and the 
Abbe Beliardi accounted the triumphs of Galvez as those of them- 
selves and their own nation, and that they had lionized him ever 
since his marriage with a Frenchwoman, that we owe the possi- 
bility of connecting Galvez personally with the economic designs 
of Choiseul for Spain and the Bourbon cause. 52 

The extension of free commerce to the Spanish islands con- 
ceded by the royal decree of 1765 was indeed hailed by Choiseul 
and Beliardi as a triumph for the French influence in Spain, as 
the beginning of the reform which should check the English con- 
traband trade which prevented Bourbon prosperity. But the 
French plans did not stop here. France was to build for herself 
a new American empire, in Santo Domingo, Martinique, and 
Guiana, from which to grow prosperous in supplying Spanish 
America with produce and merchandise which Spain herself 
could not supply. On the other side of the world she was to 
obtain from Spain one of the Philippine Islands for a center of 
a trade with India and China whereby she might engage in trade 
with Mexico, Peru, and Chile. Beliardi even planned to stop the 
progress of the English in the Gulf of Mexico by establishing 
between the French islands and the Spanish possessions a com- 
munity of interest which should set the Latin Gulf against Eng- 
lish North America. War, when it was entered into, was to be 
decisive. The fleet of England was to be swept from the seas, a 
force was to be landed on her shores, and Jamaica, Brazil, and 
even Portugal were to be annexed to the crowns of the allied 
Bourbons. 53 

52 See p. 4, note 3. 

53 The foregoing account of the French share in the Spanish reforms is 
taken from Pierre Muret, "Les Papiers de l'Abbe Beliardi et les Eelations 
Commerciales de la France et de l'Espagne an Milieu du XVTIP Siecle 
(1757-1770)," in the Revue d'Histoire Hodeme et Contemporaine (Paris, 
1902-3), IV, 657-69. The papers of Beliardi are in the Department des 
Manuscrits of the Bibliotheque Nationale, in ten folio volumes which 
contain matter of the utmost importance to the study of the commerce of 
Spain and France during the period of the Bourbon ascendency, particu- 
larly for the Philippines and New Spain. 

Preparations for War 41 

8. International complications. — In the aspects of interna- 
tional policy the reign of Charles presents little more brilliancy 
than those of his immediate predecessors. The old story of fail- 
ure in costly wars was continued. The Family Pact received 
its first condemnation in the defeat with which both nations 
emerged from the Seven Years' War. Spain then found per- 
plexity of international policy increased by the removal of the 
French as a buffer power from Louisiana ; the English, now upon 
the immediate borders of the Spanish possessions of North Amer- 
ica, were intrenched more securely in positions on the Gulf of 
Mexico, in Honduras, and in Jamaica. The Peace of Paris was 
considered on all sides as a mere temporary truce. The English 
thought the treaty too advantageous to Spain. 54 Spain consid- 
ered Louisiana, of which she could not obtain quiet possession, 
a meager compensation for the loss of Florida, and she felt that 
France had once more sacrificed her ally for the sake of a doubt- 
ful peace. 

Both Bourbon courts, nevertheless, began immediately to pre- 
pare for the inevitable struggle. The French army was raised 
to a high state of efficiency. The Spanish army was trained on 
the model of that of Frederick the Great. The English ambas- 
sador at Madrid became alarmed at "the sudden activity which 
animated every dockyard and arsenal belonging to Spain in the 
Old and the New World." 55 The relations between Spain and 
England continued strained. The Spanish ministers, Grimaldi 
and Esquilache, refused to pay the ransom of Manila which had 
been promised to General Draper when he took that city in 1762, 
asserting that the exaction had been by force, and had not pre- 
vented the sack of the city, as had been promised. The Honduras 
logwood question was renewed because no territorial limits had 
been set to British activities in Tierra Firme by the recent treaty. 

54 Altamira, IV, 53; W. Coxe, Memoirs of the Kings of Spain of the 
House of Bourbon, IV, 313. 

55 Coxe, IV, 373-4, quotes dispatches from Lord Eochford. 

42 The Historical Background 

The English entered Spanish territory, but refused to submit 
to Spanish authority, and added to the injury by smuggling with 
Mexico. 56 

Aside from the Honduras and the Rio de la Plata smuggling 
questions, the Maluines or Falkland Islands dispute was another 
cause for disagreement. Those islands, southeast of the coast of 
South America, were discovered by Spaniards, but were not oc- 
cupied until the French, in February, 1764, founded there a 
colony which was surrendered to the Spaniards upon payment 
of 618,000 pounds sterling in October, 1766. Meanwhile Ad- 
miral Byron in 1765 founded Egmont upon another island of the 
same group. When the Spaniards took over the French colony 
they were ordered by the English to leave within six months. 
The Spaniards succeeded in expelling the English in 1770, when 
an expedition from Buenos Aires under Francisco Bucarely 
forced the surrender of the English. 57 The question of the own- 
ership of the Falkland Islands is still considered a litigious one 
by the governments of both France and England. 

As a means of safeguarding her interests in Europe when the 
conflict with England should be renewed, Spain sought by means 
of marriages to strengthen her ties with Austria ; the Infanta 
Maria Luisa was married to the Archduke Leopold of Austria, 
while Carlos, Prince of the Asturias, was married to Doila Luisa, 
Infanta of Parma. These marriages, consummated in 1766, re- 
lieved Spain from apprehension of war in Italy over the ancient 
Hapsburg-Bourbon rivalry for possession of Italian territory. 

so J. Addison, Charles the Third of Spain (London, 1900), 53; Coxe, IV, 
329-31. For the beginnings of British settlement on the Mosquito shore 
and the treaty of 1670 see Bancroft, History of Central America, II, 598; 
for the disagreements on the Honduras question following the Seven 
Years' War, idem., 629 et seq. 

57 Becker, Espana e Inglaterra, 37, for the conclusion of the incident. 
See also A. Alvarez, Le Droit International Americain (Paris, 1910), 141, 
note, for subsequent international complications over this group of islands, 
and Paul Groussac, Les lies Maluines (Paris, 1910) ; for the American view, 
John Bassett Moore, A Digest of International Law (8 v., Washington, 
1906; 56 Cong., 2 sess., House Doc. No. 551. Serial Nos. 4202-4208), I, §89, 
p. 298; §171; VI, §944, p. 434-5. 

Defense of New Spain 43 

Meanwhile adequate defense of the American colonies was 
undertaken. Tanucci, the former Italian minister and trainer 
in statescraft of Charles III, recognized the fact that reform in 
the American possessions was the vital question. He frequently 
said that America was the danger point of Europe, and that its 
shipping and ports needed rehabilitation, "as the fanaticism of 
the English to extend their conquests on that continent is daily 
increasing. ' ' 58 

New Spain, which was most in danger from the proximity of 
the English, had no public defenses worthy of the name. There 
were insignificant detachments of troops at Vera Cruz, Aca- 
pulco, 59 and Mexico, and some small bodies of native militia. 
The Marques de Cruillas (viceroy, 1760-66) appealed to the 
King for officers to train an army of militia which he desired to 
recruit. Heeding the necessity, Charles sent a lieutenant-general, 
Juan de Villalba y Angulo, to New Spain with officers and troops 
in 1764 to build defenses and organize militia. 60 

58 M. Danvila y Collado, Beinado de Carlos III (Madrid, 1893-96), III, 
86-93, quotes Tanucci 's letter of December 4, 1764 (Archivo General de 
Simancas, Estado, leg. 5901), and of August 6 and October 15 and 22 
(ibid., legs. 5994 and 5995). 

59 As late as 1771 the force at Acapulco consisted only of two lieuten- 
ants, one sergeant, twelve artillerymen, one armorer, and one constable. 
There was also a general hospital. The fort mounted 81 cannon and pos- 
sessed 450 fusees and other small arms. The size of the force at Vera 
Cruz varied. At Mexico there was the regiment of the consulado and two 
squadrons of cavalry, which replaced the small regular garrison in time 
of need (Francisco de Croix, Correspondance, Nantes, 1891, 286). This volume 
of the viceroy's correspondence contains also a French version of his 
Instruction que dejo, Archivo General de Indias, Est ante 88, cajon 5, legajo 
13, a manuscript copy of which is in the Bancroft Library. In subsequent 
citations of MSS from the Seville archive the briefer form of giving only 
the numbers, as, for instance, 88-5-13, will be used. 

60 See below, p. 139. Zamacois, Historia de Mejico, Y, 596-9; A. Cavo, 
Los Tres Siglos de Mexico . . . Notas y Suplemento por C. M. Bustamente, 
299; Arriaga to Galvez, March 20, 1765, 88-5-20, refers to this new plan 
of defense as one of the reasons for sending out a visitor-general of real 

It has been found impracticable in the present work to refer other 
than incidentally to the process of the establishment of the military arm 
in New Spain, though in the course of the narrative frequent references 


44 The Historical Background 

With such plans in prospect, the state of the Spanish ex- 
chequer was admittedly bad. Grimaldi, foreign minister, stated 
to Lord Rochford in the summer of 1765 that the funds of the 
government were barely sufficient for current expenses. The 
previous war and the re-equipment of the army and navy had 
drained the treasury; public credit was so bad that Esquilache 
did not know where to look for funds. 61 

are made to activities in this field by Cruillas, Villalba, Galvez, Croix, and 
the mariscal de campo Eubi. An account of the military establishment is 
given in John Pinkerton, Modem Geography (London, 1807), III, 163-65. 
The total strength of the military arm is given by Pinkerton as 43,191 
men. The expense of their maintenance, expenditures for presidios, etc., 
are given in Chapter X of the present work. Estimates of the colonial 
army, its efficiency, its social and political influence, etc., occur in Hum- 
boldt, Political Essay, IV, 248-258, and in A. Eivera, Principios Criticos 
sobre el Vireinato de la Nueva Espana (San Juan de los Lagos, 1884-8), 82. 
See also Smith, The Viceroy of New Spain, 199-228, M. Eivera Cambas, 
Los Gobernantes de Mexico (Mexico, 1872-73), I, 424, and Bancroft, History 
of Mexico, III, 401-425. 

Contemporaneous comment on the organization of the militia is of 
interest. Croix, upon whom fell a large share of the work at its inception, 
considered the utility of the militia as questionable, but he deferred 
loyally to the king's determination to augment and maintain it as a part 
of the enlarged scheme of defense. The efforts of Villalba, owing to the 
petty opposition of the viceroy, Cruillas, had resulted in the organization 
of troops which existed on paper only. Croix, however, by dint of much 
personal effort, succeeded in getting some troops of cavalry and dragoons 
into such shape that he could speak of them with a certain amount of 

The organization of native troops met with strong objections among 
the Spaniards, as well as with much rioting among the natives themselves. 
To the European mind the chief objection was that enlistment would 
reduce the number of persons who paid tribute. The natives more ration- 
ally saw that their taxes would be increased to support the new levies. 
Hence the riots. As a matter of fact, the most important class of tribu- 
taries, the Indians, were not included in the early militia, and the mulattoes, 
though they were freed from tribute upon enlistment, were not numerically 
important enough to affect the net result of tribute collections. 

Croix remarked, in connection with the militia, that it ''cost the treasury 
nothing, ' ' a conclusion at which he arrived from the fact that expenses of its 
organization were met by special levies, as on cacao at Vera Cruz. This 
childish economic idea, so frequently expressed by Spanish financial reformers 
and administrators, serves to show how little real conception existed among 
officials as to the true nature of the burden of taxation which rested on the 
shoulders of the lower classes, in the Peninsula and in the colonies alike 
(Croix, Correspondance, 285; Instruction que dejo, 88-5-13). 

ei Eochford to Conway, August 5, 19, 1765, cited in Addison, 56-7. In 
the preceding four pages I have followed a manuscript work by Mr. L. P. 
Briggs upon the preliminaries of the occupation of California. 

Imperial Reorganization 45 

We have now seen what were the plans cherished by Charles 
III for the material prosperity of his possessions, and what were 
the special dangers against which he had to prepare. To the 
richest of his colonies he looked for means with which to carry 
out his plans, and thither he sent his visitor-general to act as his 
personal representative in the inception of the new imperial re- 
juvenation. It is now appropriate to turn to the consideration 
of the viceroyalty of New Spain, in order to review the general 
situation of that dependency, which was to be the theatre of the 
activities of Jose de Galvez. 


1. Extent of New Spain. — During the Bourbon regime New 
Spain was roughly coterminous with the modern Mexico. On 
the south, the territory of the present state of Chiapas was in- 
cluded in the captaincy-general of Guatemala, which was inde- 
pendent of the viceroyalty, and was governed by an audiencia, 
over which was a president who was also superintendent of 
real hacienda. Yucatan, subject to the viceroy of New Spain in 
real hacienda, was otherwise independent of him. It was en- 
tirely incorporated with .the viceroyalty upon the establishment 
of the intendancies under Galvez by the ordinance of 1786. 
Sweeping northward from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec along 
the shore of the Gulf on the east, and along that of the Pacific 
on the west, the territorial boundaries extended indefinitely as 
far as the Spanish influence could push them. There was no 
actual northern line until the treaty of 1819, negotiated with the 
United States. 1 Yet New Spain did not include the entire con- 
tinental possessions, for the Floridas were administered from 
Cuba upon the establishment of the captaincy-general of Havana, 
and when in 1762 the French ceded Louisiana that vast region 

1 Bancroft, History of Central America, II, 714; Rivera, Principios 
Criticos, I, 66. For a convenient portrayal of Louisiana under Spanish rule 
at the end of the eighteenth century see Desdevises du Desert, ' ' La Louisiane 
a la fin du XVIIP siecle, ' ' in Revue de I 'Histoire des Colonies Frangaises, 
Paris, 1915, Troisieme annee, pp. 235-260. The subject of Spanish adminis- 
tration in Louisiana and Texas following the cession of the former territory 
to Spain is more fully treated in Bolton, Athanase de Mezieres and the 
Louisiana-Texas Frontier, 1768-1780 (2 v., Cleveland, 1914), Introd. See 
also, for Texas conditions, his Texas in the Middle Eighteenth Century, 
Studies in Spanish Colonial History and Administration {University of Cali- 
fornia Publications in History, Vol. Ill), Berkeley, 1915. The western 
frontier area is treated in C. E. Chapman, The Founding of Spanish Cali- 
fornia; the Northwestward Expansion of New Spain, 1687-1773, New York, 

The Northern Limits 47 

was independent of New Spain, being attached in 1771 to the 
Cuban domain as the Floridas had been. 

On the Pacific slope the dominion of Spain was and had been 
for centuries free from danger of such foreign aggression as had 
assailed the northern Atlantic shores. Due to occasional visits 
of English sea-rovers, and to the myth of the Strait of Anian, 
the Spaniards had long harbored the fear that England might 
some day menace New Spain from the north. In the eighteenth 
century the danger from Russia, creeping eastward to throw her 
empire around the Pacific, became a more tangible cause of alarm. 
The Russian menace was renewed during the period in which 
Galvez was in New Spain, and the possibility of loss of the north- 
ward coasts was used by him with telling effect when he urged 
the preliminary measures which resulted in Spanish occupation /• 
of California in 1769. But the northward stretches beyond the 
line of colonization were not seriously disturbed by Spain 's rivals 
until after the energetic measures of Galvez had been successful 
in the occupation of Monterey. Until the Nootka Convention of */ 
1790, Spain could claim unbroken possession of the Pacific shore, 
with all the interior west of the Mississippi under the nominal 
protection of the viceroy or of the captain-general of Havana. 

In actuality, however, the northern limit of occupied territory 
prior to 1769 lay along a line which might be drawn from Santa 
Maria (the northernmost of the Jesuit missions of Lower Cali- 
fornia) across to the missions and presidios of Pimeria Alta, the 
little settlement of Bac representing the outpost of Spanish 
dominion. From Pimeria Alta the line of occupation extended 
northeast to the New Mexican establishments, of which the most 
remote was the little village of Taos. Almost immediately south 
were the El Paso settlements, from which the line lay southeast 
to the Presidio del Norte, whence it extended northeast again to 
the presidio and mission of San Saba, thence extending due east 
to the presidio of Adaes, within seven leagues of the French set- 

48 The Administration of New Spain 

tlement of Natchitoches. 2 This irregular and fluctuating line 
was materially changed by the occupation of California and the 
readjustment of the line of frontier presidios consequent upon 
the transfer of Louisiana. 

Along the northern boundary wandered tribes of Yuta, 
Apache, Comanche, Wichita, Tonkawa, and smaller groups of 
Indians, who were constant sources of trouble. They were held 
in a semblance of check by flying squadrons from the presidios 
and by formal military expeditions against them. Even within 
the line of Spanish occupation, where missions, presidios, mining 
camps, and farms were found, the country was in great part 
unoccupied save by the aborigines, who were in a state of con- 
stant unrest, and frequently waged prolonged warfare with the 
conquerors. On the western side, the country as far south as 
Sinaloa was considered frontier until long after the visitation 
of Galvez. 

The viceroy alty was divided, prior to the establishment of 
the intendancies, into units known as gobiernos (governments, 
called indifferently kingdoms, provinces, colonies, and presiden- 
cias). These units were: 1, the kingdom of Mexico, or New 
Spain ; 2, the kingdom of Nueva Galicia ; 3, the Nuevo Keino de 
Leon ; 4, the colony of Nuevo Santander ; 5, the province of Texas, 
or Nuevas Filipinas ; 6, the province of Coahuila ; 7, the province 
of Nueva Vizcaya ; 8, the province of New Mexico ; 9, the prov- 
ince of Sonora and Sinaloa. The kingdom of Mexico, or New 
Spain proper, comprised the territory of the present states of 
Mexico, Queretaro, Hidalgo, Puebla, Tlascala, Oaxaca, Morelos, 
Guerrero, Vera Cruz, Tabasco, Michoacan, and Guanajuato, as 
well as parts of San Luis Potosi, Jalisco, and Colima. Nueva 
Galicia lay to the north and west of the kingdom of New Spain, 

2 Cf . Humboldt, Political Essay, II, 233. Bolton, Texas in the Middle 
Eighteenth Century, 102-133; the map in Bolton's work is the best graphic 
presentation of the eastern frontier situation. 

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Political Subdivisions 49 

and comprised modern Jalisco, Aguas Calientes, Zacatecas, and 
parts of San Luis Postosi. In affairs of justice, Nueva Galicia 
was controlled by its own audiencia, that of Guadalajara; in 
matters of defense it was semi-independent ; in finance it was sub- 
ject to the viceroy. Nuevo Leon had approximately its present 
boundaries. Southern Santander is now called Tamaulipas ; the 
northern portion now forms a part of Texas. The nucleus of 
Coahuila, or Nueva Estremadura, is the modern state Coahuila. 
Nueva Vizcaya comprised the present Durango, Chihuahua, 3 and 
southern Coahuila. 

These political units were under the control of the viceroy in 
matters of government and real hacienda through military gov- 
ernors (except Nueva Galicia, as indicated), who were, like him- 
self, appointed by the king, formally receiving their commissions 
from the Council of the Indies. The governors often kept in 
touch with the king through correspondence direct with the min- 
ister of the Indies, as well as by making reports to the viceroy. 

Each province was divided into smaller districts, known as 
alcaldias may ores; these were subdivided into alcaldias menores, 
and the latter again into encomiendas. Each alcaldia bore the 
name of the chief town within its confines. There were about 
200 of them in the viceroyalty, being found in the older settled 
regions, but not extensively on thchorthern frontier. A curious 
instance of administrative confusion is seen in the fact that 
alcaldias whose boundaries were identical on one side with pro- 
vincial boundaries were sometimes attached to one province for 
administrative affairs while their judicial interests were under 
control of the neighboring province. Upon the establishment of 
the intendancies these kingdoms and provinces were replaced by 
twelve intendancies and three provinces. Most of the enco- 

3 Eivera, I, 70. Wistano Luis Orozco, Legislation y Jurisprudentia sobre 
Terrenos Baldios (Mexico, 1895, 2 v.), I, 155-166, gives the "Division 
politica de Nueva Espafia hasta la promulgacion de la Eeal Ordenanza de 
Intendentes, 4 Diciembre, 1786, ' ' with the names of all the alcaldias and 
corregimientos in each audiencia. 

50 The Administration of New Spain 

miendas were suppressed, but the designation of local adminis- 
trative units as alcaldias and corregimientos continued. 4 

Bolton, than whom there is no more competent student of 
the frontier of New Spain, calls to attention in this connection 
the fact that the conditions of the older and more densely settled 
parts of the viceroyalty did not obtain in the frontier provinces. 
In California, Texas, Coahuila, and Santander the encomiendas 
did not exist ; nor were the alcaldias numerous or contiguous, as 
they were in the central and southern provinces. Error of con- 
ception occurs when it is supposed that conditions in the north 
were static ; on the contrary, .frontier conditions prevailed nearly 
everywhere northward of Durango and Monterey, and accurate 
knowledge of the local administrative machinery of the frontier 
must await such detailed study as Bolton has made of early 

2. Population. — The population of the country was divided 
sharply into four groups — the white, the black, the yellow, and 
the red. The white element was again divided into two groups, 
European Spaniards and those of American birth, or Gachupines 
and Creoles. The former, who had come to the land in the em- 
ploy of the government as a rule (there was a comparatively 
small number of polizones, that is, those who managed to cross 
the ocean without license to do so from the Council of the Indies) , 
kept themselves socially and politically distinct from the Creoles, 
who were held in slight esteem by the Europeans on account of 
their birth. Below the Creoles were the mestizos, of mixed Span- 
ish and Indian origin. Lower still were the various racial ad- 
mixtures known as the castes. These were the mulattoes, with 
whom the negroes were socially assimilated, the Sambos, of maian 
and negro extraction, and the Malays, whom the galleons brought 

4 M. Eiva Palacio (ed.), Mexico a traves de los SigJos (Mexico, 1888-89), 
III, 661-663. Certain perpetual encomiendas existed until the closing years 
of the Spanish regime. Orozco, op. cit., I, 155-166, gives the "Division 
politica de Nueva Espaha conforme a Eeal Ordenanza de Intendantes, " 
with the local units composing each intendancy. 

The Social Groups 51 

in considerable numbers to the western coast. The negroes were 
mostly slaves, though many of them had attained their freedom. 5 
Intermixture of Indian and negro blood impoverished the Indian 
race and made it less attractive. The term pardo was applied 
to the people of the castes, while the expression salta-atrds 
("throw-back") was used to designate individuals of mixed ex- 
traction who showed a reversion to darker facial color than their 
immediate progenitors. The Indians were theoretically consid- 
ered as a race apart, under the especial protection of the crown 
and in a condition of perpetual wardship, though they were in 
actuality subjected to all the rigors which befall a conquered 
race. 6 

With all these groups the visitation of Galvez was immedi- ^ 
ately concerned. The Spaniards felt his touch in the reorgani- ^ 
zation of official administration of the courts and the revenues ; 

the mixed races were utilized in considerable numbers in the 

. H 

militias which were organized for the public defense, while hun- 
dreds of them were imprisoned for riots under his sentence. The 
Indians felt the weight of his iron hand in the increased efficiency 
with which tribute was exacted from them and in the war waged 
upon them under his direction. 7 

5 Concerning the introduction of negro slaves into New Spain in 1518 
by Cortes see Saco, Historia de la Esclavitud, I, 113. On beginnings of 
limitation upon the traffic, ibid., 137 et seq. On their first casual intro- 
duction into other parts of the Indies see Scelle, La Traite Negriere, I, 
121-137, and for the beginnings of the traffic, ibid., 139-161. See also 
Antequera, Historia de la Legislation Espanola, 495-6. 

6 Bancroft, History of Central America, I, 257-8, note 5, epitomizes the 
policy of the Spanish crown toward the Indians, as portrayed in the 
Eecopilacion. Burke, An Account of the European Settlements in America, 
180-183, has a brief note on the people of New Spain. 

7 The comment of Croix, writing to his brother, the Marques do 
Huechin, on his first impressions of the inhabitants when he assumed the 
viceroyalty was: "J'ai trouve tout le pays que j 'ai traverse pour par- 
venir jusqu'ici tres beau. La capitale est magnifique et immense, mais 
habitee par une multitude des plus vilaines gens, de toutes especes et de 
toutes couleurs, sans honneur, sans sentiments, sans habits et beaucoup 
sans religion. II y a pourtant grand nombre d 'honnetes gens. . . . ' ' 
{Correspondance, Croix to Huechin, Mexico, September 27, 1766, p. 201). 

52 The Administration of New Spain 

Distinctions as sharp as those of origin were observed in the 
division of labor. The Spaniards enjoyed all the chief positions 
in the government, the church, and the military service. Com- 
merce was almost exclusively in their hands, as were such of 
the best landed holdings as were not controlled by the church. 
Being the most influential subjects, they were frequent in their 
demands for government favor, and the government was no less 
quick to appeal to them for needed financial assistance. The 
viceroys always found it possible, by assiduous courting, to ob- 
tain from the merchants all the advances of funds needed, fre- 
quently without interest. Croix says astutely of their habitual 
demands for favors : ' l One should seem to be interested in their 
demands, but he should not make decision regarding them until 
he has made inquiry concerning them from honest people. ' ' 8 

Many of the Spaniards remained in private life from the 
beginning of their residence, possessing the initiative and win- 
ning the success of typical pioneers. Too many of them amassed 
fortunes which were taken to Spain ; the greatest wealth remain- 
ing in the country was in the hands of ecclesiastical bodies. 
There were, as well, some Spaniards so poor as to be obliged to 
enter domestic service. 9 

The Creoles sought the practice of law or entered the church 
or government offices in the humbler capacities. Sometimes, as 
during the period of the Galvez visitation, Creole lawyers occu- 
pied the bench of the audiencia of Mexico, with credit to them- 
selves and to the satisfaction of even so severe a critic as the 
visitor-general. As a rule, the Creoles were, through lack of 
opportunity and natural indolence, a discontented class, quick 
of mind but of slight executive ability; they became the chief 
constituents of that proletariat which was responsible for the 
final overthrow of the Spanish power. 

s Correspondance, 262; Instruction que dejo, 88-5-13. 

9 Alaman, Historia de Mejico, I, 24-27. Kevillagigedo, Instruction 
Eeservada que . . . dio a su Sucesor en el Mando (written 1794; Mexico, 
1831), arts. 147-151. 

Distribution of the People 53 

The mestizos, discriminated against both by law and custom, 
could not enter sacred callings or obtain public positions. They 
worked in the mines, enlisted in the militia, and served in menial 
capacities. All classes of society in which there was admixture 
of white blood were distinguished from the indigenes by the 
term gente de razon, or people possessed of reasoning power. 

The Indian population predominated in the highland regions, 
while the blacks inhabited the coastal lowlands. The Spaniards 
were found mostly in the large cities — Mexico, Vera Cruz, Puebla, 
Guadalajara, Valladolid (Morelia) — and in the mining camps, 
where the Creoles were also found in large numbers. The inhab- 
itants of northern New Spain were thought by Humboldt to be 
the most robust and intellectual of the population, due to their 
pastoral pursuits. All foreign groups were prohibited from liv- 
ing among mission Indians, but the foreigners assimilated readily 
with the natives of secularized Indian pueblos, though in certain 
cities, as Zapotlan, persons of non-Indian blood were negligible 
numerically. 10 Of the disposal of the Indians upon the enco- 
miendas, and their agricultural and mining pursuits under the 
repartimiento system, so much will appear in the course of the 
present narrative that it will be unprofitable to dwell at this 
point upon those phases of social conditions among the Indians. 11 

3. Economic conditions. — The occupations of the people were 
trade, farming, grazing, and mining. Commerce, as has been 
said, occupied most of the Spaniards. 12 On the plateau gold and 

10 Alaman, op. et loc. cit. Humboldt, Political Essay, II, 242. 

11 On the beginnings of the repartimientos see Bancroft, History of 
Central America, I, 262-4, note 7; History of Mexico (San Francisco, 1883- 
87), II, 145-52. Cf. H. C. Morris, The History of Colonization (New York, 
1904), I, 247. 

12 No statement of the condition of these industries in New Spain of 
the latter eighteenth and early nineteenth century equals the exposition 
of them given by Humboldt in the Political Essay. For farming and 
grazing see volumes II and III to page 103 of the latter. The mining 
industry occupies chapter 2 of volume III, pp. 104-454. Volume III, 
chapter 12, pp. 455-493, is devoted to the commerce and manufacturing. 
Volume IV is occupied with discussion of the affairs of public health, 
commerce, and real hacienda. 

54 The Administration of New Spain 

silver were mined in large quantities. Agriculture produced 
vanilla — of which all that was used in Europe came from Mexico 
— indigo, 13 and cacao for export; sugar and cereals hardly 
satisfied local consumption. Immense herds and flocks were a 
source of much wealth, especially along the northern frontier 
and the Gulf coast. On the west coast, between Acapulco and 
Colima, the finest cotton of the viceroyalty was produced. In 
the Parras district, west of Saltillo in Nueva Vizcaya, the grape- 
vine throve particularly well, the original conquerors having dis- 
covered wild species of it there growing. At the end of the 
eighteenth century the wine industry of Parras was flourishing, 
notwithstanding the stubborn policy of the Cadiz monopolies 
against olive, vine, and mulberry culture in the American col- 
onies. Indeed, though colonial legislation prohibited the vine 
in America, the authorities were tolerant. The Catholic Mon- 
archs tacitly recognized olive and grape culture by levying tithes 
on these products. Philip II ordered their gradual abolition. 
His successors contented themselves by levying a two per cent 
duty on them. 14 

Cochineal, a very important and ancient product of New 
Spain, came chiefly from Oaxaca. It was one of the principal 
exports, after gold and silver. More important than other agri- 
cultural pursuits, from a governmental point of view, was the 
raising of tobacco and the manufacture and sale of its products. 
The organization of the government monopoly of the tobacco 
industry was one of the earliest tasks of Galvez during his visi- 
tation ; an account of his work in this field is given in Chapter 
IV of the present work. After the rapid increase of prosperity 
in agriculture and stock raising subsequent to the inauguration 
of free commerce by the Reglamento of 1778, the agricultural 

13 Humboldt, III, 44, says most of the indigo came from Guatemala, 
and that its culture was neglected in Mexico. Ibid., Ill, 5-18. 

i4 Colmeiro, Historia de la Economia Politica, II, 393; Humboldt, II, 
248; III, 18. 

Colonial Manufactures 55 

product of New Spain was greater by one-fourth than the value 
of the gold and silver of the mines. 15 

With regard to the desirability of manufactures in the col- 
onies, political thought in Spain in the eighteenth century was 
divided. Ward and Campillo were in favor of permitting only 
such manufactures as would not compete with those of the Penin- 
sula, actual or prospective. Thus woolens, linen, silk, and in 
general the base metals should not be manufactured in America. 
Especial complaint was raised against the coarse textile fabrics 
of Mexico and Peru. Other writers, like Ulloa and Mora y 
Jar aba, were quite in advance of their period, declaring that 
the prosperity of one part of the empire could not injure an- 
other part. They averred with much reason that manufacture, 
if extended in America, would tend to favor increase of popu- 
lation, and would act as a deterrent to the undesirable prepon- 
derance of foreign interests in Spanish commerce. 16 Actual 
administrative policy in this particular was adventitious. Man- 
ufacturing was actually discouraged, though usually not prohib- 
ited. 17 Cloth of excellent local reputation for quality was manu- 
factured in Puebla. 18 

The laboring classes of the centers of population were organ- 
ized into guilds ; their management gave rise to serious questions 

is Humboldt, III, 96. 

is Colmeiro, II, 395. 

i7 Smith, The Viceroy of New Spain, 149-150. 

18 "Ce defaut de gout qui se remarque en tout dans ce pays, quoique 
d'une opulence excessive, est cause qu'une manufacture de draps qu'il y 
a dans la meme ville [Puebla] est d'une grossierete qui revolte. Les bar- 
bares qui ont possede les premiers cette riche contree seraient cent fois 
plus habiles que leurs vainqueurs, si tout ce qu'on nous dit d'eux etait 
vrai. . . . Les draps dont nous parlions tout a l'heure se vendent bien, 
parce qu'ils durent long-temps; on les prefere meme aux etoffes d 'Europe, 
sans dout parce qu'ils sont extremement lourds et qu'ils procurent a ceux 
qui les portent une transpiration salutaire" (Voyage du Seigneur Villiet 
d' Avignon a la Havane, la V era-Crux et le Mexique, in Voyages Interessans 
dans Diferents Colonies (Londres, 1788), 316-17. Villiet accompanied the 
viceroy Eevillagigedo the elder on his voyage to Mexico in 1746. 

On manufacture of soap, cotton, silk, etc., see Humboldt, III, 460-465. 

56 The Administration of New 

of administration for several of the viceroys. The guild of 
bakers of Mexico was of considerable importance during the visi- 
tation of Galvez, who organized it under special ordinances dur- 
ing the last year of his stay in Mexico. 19 

In the cities were gathered large numbers of the poor, who, 
unemployed and often unemployable, being averse to mining, 
having no land and no permanent interest in any occupation, 
proved a serious social problem. They lived at an extremely 
low level of civilization. "When Croix came in 1765 to rule as 
viceroy it was almost a daily morning occurrence to find mur- 
dered persons lying in the streets of the capital. Twenty-nine 
were found in one month. Asylum was still granted by the 
churches to criminals, under misinterpretation of a law of 1755. 
Croix took it upon himself to put an end to this immunity of 
criminals ; he was upheld by royal sanction in 1768. 20 These 
people Galvez was expected to move to the frontier and establish 
in semi-military colonies where they would, it was hoped, become 
prosperous and valuable subjects. 21 

In their relations with the lower classes the Spaniards felt 
obliged to use every possible means to retain their domination, 
which was frequently in precarious state even prior to the 
successful revolution. This was due to the fact that the Span- 
iards were so greatly outnumbered by the subject groups. 22 
During the tumults resulting from the rigorous collection of the 
tributes, the establishment of the tobacco monopoly, the organ- 
ization of militia, and the expulsion of the Jesuits, fear of at- 
tempts to establish Mexican independence were expressed by 
Galvez. 23 That official, as well as many of the viceroys, both 

!9 See Bevillagigedo, Instruction Eeservada, arts. 366-7. 

20 Correspondance, 262; Instruction que dejo, ' ' Imunidades, " 88-5-13. 

2i Arriaga to Galvez, Madrid, March 26, 1765, A. G. de I., 88-5-20. 

22 Cf. Bancroft, History of Central America, II, 251; Smith, The Viceroy 
of New Spain, 138-9. 

23 See Chapter VI. 

System of Government 57 

before and after his time, commented very unfavorably upon the 
character of the Indians and mestizos. He believed, in common 
with many other high officials of the viceroyalty, that the lower 
classes could be dominated only by extremely rigorous repression 
of incipient disorders. Such a policy, without very careful in- 
vestigation into circumstances of justice or injustice, would nec- 
essarily be followed by viceroys who could not visit remote scenes 
of disturbance. But Galvez pursued the same policy in his visits 
to the provinces during 1767 and 1768-70, and his later influence 
was so predominant in the affairs of the colony that he must 
undoubtedly share large responsibility for the final outburst of 
revolution which set Mexico free from Spain. 

4. The viceroy. — Passing now to consideration of the govern- 
ment of New Spain, and omitting discussion of its earlier devel- 
opment, we find a system of political organization at the head of 
which were the viceroy and the audiencia. 24 The functions of 
the former were chiefly executive, and those of the latter chiefly 
judicial, while neither enjoyed these powers to the exclusion of 
the other, and both were vested with subordinate legislative 
authority. The two arms of the government stood in much the 
same relations to New Spain as did the monarchs and the Council 
of the Indies to the entire colonial world. 

The chief executive usually bore the titles of viceroy, gover- 
nor, captain-general, and superintendent of real hacienda. Until 
the decree of April 6, 1776, the viceroys were presidents of audi- 
encias. By that legislation regentes were placed in charge of the 
actual presidency of the audiencias, the viceroys retaining, how- 
ever, the nominal title and some part of the function. 25 From 
December, 1786 to 1788, under the first establishment of the 
intendancies, superintendancy of real hacienda was vested in a 
separate official, but was restored to the viceroy in the time of 


24 Antequera, 478; Revillagigedo, Instruction Beservada, arts. 84-89. 

25 Antequera, 494. 

58 The Administration of New Spain 

Manuel Flores (1789). 26 The title of superintendent of real 
hacienda had been bestowed upon the viceroy Revillagigedo the 
elder in 1741. Cruillas and his successors were entitled also 
superintendents of mails, the postal service having been incor- 
porated to the crown during his term in 1764 through the meas- 
ures of Grimaldi. 27 

The viceroyal functions were grouped under four heads, that 
of the civil government, the superintendency of finance, the royal 
ecclesiastical patronage, and the captaincy-general. As viceroy, 
the personal representative of the king enjoyed an official pre- 
eminence which was often grudgingly conceded by the audiencia. 
The ecclesiastical patronage, and that of lesser administrative 
positions, enhanced his prestige. As governor, he was in charge 
of the province or kingdom of Mexico. As captain-general, he 
was head of the military forces and of such naval establishment 
as existed. He was advised in matters of defense by an auditor 
de guerra, who was a sort of special counsel. Croix ignored his 
auditor de guerra, and sought the advice of an assessor of his 
own choosing. 28 With advice from a fiscal, the viceroy sat as a 
court of appeal in final judgment of military trials. 29 Ordinary 
cases of justice were often brought voluntarily before him, as the 
highest authority in the land. After a preliminary hearing he 
referred cases not of grave importance to the ordinary courts of 
first instance. 30 As superintendent of real hacienda, the viceroy 
had, with the tribunal de cuentas and the junta superior de real 
hacienda, close supervision of the public revenues, their collection 
and disbursement. 31 

26 Revillagigedo, art. 740. 

27 See below, pp. 377-8, note 124. 

28 Croix, Correspondance, 284; Instruction que dejo, 88-5-13. 

29 Revillagigedo, art. 98. 

so Croix, Correspondance, 263 ; Instruction que dejo, 88-5-13. 
si See below, pp. 67-70, 76-77. 

The Chief Executive 59 

An important limitation of the power of the viceroy was the 
provision for the real acuerdo, a name given to a board (and to 
its decisions) of the judges of the audiencia sitting with the vice- 
roy to deliberate on weighty affairs of administration. 32 

A far-reaching prerogative of the viceroy was his right to 
decide what matters were to be determined as affairs of admin- 
istration, and what was to be considered as within the province 
of the audiencia ; this legal provision minimized conflicts of 
powers. 33 Persons aggrieved by the viceroy might, however, 
carry appeals from his measures to the audiencia. In disburse- 
ment of funds the viceroy was obliged, except in cases of emer- 
gency, to act in accord with the junta superior composed of the 
heads of the branches of real hacienda, and with the fiscal of 
that institution. He could not grant military appointments or 
promotions without first proposing them to the crown, and in the 
exercise of the royal patronage (real patronato) he was practi- 
cally limited to naming priests presented to him by the bishops 
for nomination, though he had also some control over the re- 
ligious orders and their colleges. 34 

"When a visitor was sent to the viceroyalty the power of the 
viceroy often became secondary to that of the visitor, whose 
functions were independent in judicial affairs, and sometimes 
practically so in administrative affairs. Force of personal char- 
acter sometimes insured the ascendancy of the visitor. The 
viceroy was subject to the visitation in matters concerning his 

32 Mecopilacion, ley 45, tit. 3, lib. 3. Alaman, Historia de Mejico, I, 45, 
and Antequera, 484, agree in the assertion that the viceroy was not obliged 
to obey the decision of the acuerdo. In affairs of routine, and often in 
matters of vital importance, particularly those affecting frontier problems, 
the fiscaPs recommendation to the viceroy decided the issue at stake. 
"Como pide el Seiior fiscal" — "let it be as the fiscal requests" was the 
busy viceroy 's brief mode of disposing of affairs. Cf . Bolton, Texas in 
the Eighteenth Century, passim. 

33 Eevillagigedo, art. 93. 

34 Alaman, op. cit., I, 42; Smith, 229-247; Eevillagigedo, 21-62. 

60 The Administration of New Spain 

presidency of the audiencia, but in his other functions he was 
exempt from that legal process, they waiting for the formal 
residencies, or judicial inquiry at the end of his term (three, later 
five, and often an indefinite number of years, at the will of the 
monarch). The visitation and the residencia are discussed at 
length in the third chapter of this work. 

The governors of provinces, acting under the viceroys, were 
military rulers whose principal duty was maintenance of the 
peace. The municipal units were controlled by cabildos or ayun- 
tamientos, composed of hereditary and elective regidores varying 
in number according to the size or class of the unit represented, 
or according to its state of political vitality. The alcaldes 
mayores and corregidores, judicial and administrative officers of 
districts and municipalities, left few local administrative duties 
in the hands of the governors, who were nevertheless intimately 
concerned with the work of the treasury officials (oficiales reales) 
in the collection of taxes and the promotion of crown revenues. 
Aside from this supervision, the governors had the judicial fac- 
ulty of referring military juridical matters to the viceroy. 

5. The audiencias. — There were in New Spain two audiencias 
with functions both judicial and administrative, as has been 
said. The two audiencias had practically identical relations with 
the Council of the Indies. That of Mexico, created in 1527, was 
always the larger and the more important of the two. It was 
first organized with eight oidores, who heard civil cases, and four 
alcaldes del crimen or de corte, who tried criminal cases. There 
were two state attorneys (fiscales), the one for civil, the other 
for criminal prosecutions. There was one court bailiff (alguacil 
mayor), beside other minor officers. 35 During the latter part of 
the Spanish regime the corps of this audiencia was increased; 
there were added a regente, who presided instead of the viceroy, 
two oidores, one alcalde del crimen, a fiscal, and other lesser at- 

35 Becopilacion, ley 3, tit. 15, lib. 2; Eivera, Principios Criticos, I, 81. 

The Audiencia of Mexico 61 

taches. The fiscals, even after the appointment of the third one, 
were very busy and important officers, having under their care 
representation of the state in legal processes, and being called 
upon habitually to render legal advice to the viceroy in affairs 
of administration. Especial responsibility rested upon the fiscal 
of real hacienda to protect the treasury in the numerous suits 
and administrative difficulties to which its complex organization 
gave rise. 36 The lesser functionaries of the audiencia numbered 
over eighty. Two hundred attorneys practiced before the audi- 
encia. The oidores were divided into two chambers for civil cases, 
the criminal judges forming a third chamber. In grave affairs 
of administration the alcaldes were called into the acuerdos of 
the oidores and viceroy. The alcaldes had police duty over five 
of the wards (barrios) of the capital, just as did the alcaldes 
ordinarios over sections of smaller cities. 37 

The judicial power of the audiencia of Mexico extended to 
the hearing of all causes, in first instance or on appeal, and in 
cases of appeal from the viceroy on contentious points of justice 
between parties; from the decision of the audiencia there was 
no recourse save by appeal to the Council of the Indies. Terri- 
torially its district was New Spain proper, with Yucatan, Cozu- 
mel, Tabasco, and Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas on the south and 

At the time of the G-alvez visitation this audiencia still num- 
bered fourteen members, including the fiscals. Three members, 
one oidor, one fiscal, and one alcalde de corte, were absent in 
Spain and the Philippines. Most of the judges were at that 

so Revillagigedo, art. 70. 

37 Beristain y Souza, "Audiencia de Megieo, " in his Biblioteea Hispano 
Americana Setentrional (Amecameca and Santiago ' de Chile, 1883-97) ; 
Alaman, Historia de Mejico, I, 49; Rivera, I, 30; Revillagigedo, art. 66. 
Bancroft, History of Central America, I, 269-73 and notes, contains a brief 
account of the inception of the New World audiencias. The dates of their 
foundations, omitting the audiencia de los Confines (1543), are given in 
Antequera, Historia de la Legislacion Espanola, 477. 

62 The Administration of New Spain 

time Creoles, notwithstanding the express prohibition of the law ; 
yet their relationship with powerful families had not militated 
against the uprightness of their judgments, as they maintained 
the practice of voluntarily withdrawing from hearings in which 
bias through relationship might affect their decisions. Both 
chambers were presided over by the criminal judge (alcalde de 
corte), the presidency of the civil chamber being vacant, while 
both fiscalias were remarkably well discharged by Jose Antonio 
Areche, who later came into greater fame as visitor-general of 
^ Peru during the insurrection of Tupac- Amaru. In the criminal 
chamber the senior judge (decano) was too old, and his sub- 
decano too infirm, to work. Even with this handicap the audi- 
encia was prone to observe more than the prescribed number of 
holidays, and hence, needless to say, was sadly behind with its 

Croix, in speaking of this audiencia, said that he had the 
power, as president, of attending court sessions, requiring judg- 
ments to be passed, indicating the days for session, designating 
judges for special cases, and of withdrawing from a case any 
judge who ought not to be allowed to vote on it. When this was 
necessary, it was best accomplished by assigning to such a judge 
some other special commission, though in case of notorious unfit- 
ness the viceroy might actually remove an oidor from his position 
pending royal action. 38 

The second audiencia, that of Guadalajara, established in 
\J 1548, was organized with a president and four oidor es, who also 
served as alcaldes del crimen. The presidency was at first be- 
stowed upon a ministro togado, but from the beginning of the 
eighteenth century the position was held by military men, an 
arrangement whereby there was a decrease of one vote in cases 

s 8 Croix, Correspondance, " Tribunaux, " 265; Instruction que dejo, 
88-5-13 ; Galvez, Informe General que en Virtud de Eeal Orden instruyo 
y entrego el Exmo. Sr. Marques de Sonora . . . con fecha de 31 de Biciembre 
de 1771 (Mexico, 1867), 9-11. 

The Audiencia of Guadalajara 63 

of justice. There was one fiscal, one alguacil mayor, and one 
t entente de gran chanciller (vice-chancellor), as at Mexico. 39 The 
alcaldes were overworked, and frequently asked that a sola del 
crimen or at least more oidores might be added to the court. 
Croix planned to add two oidores, but the proposal for the erec- 
tion of the comandancia general of the northern interior prov- 
inces, made in 1768, and accepted in principle the following year, 
was deemed to have rendered the addition of judges to the Gua- 
dalajara court superfluous. 40 By 1792 the number of officers of 
this audiencia were a president, a regents, five oidores, and two 
fiscals. 41 

The judicial power of this audiencia was identical with that 
of the tribunal of Mexico. Its hearings were, in fact, mostly 
confined to criminal causes and suits over lands and mines. Its 
jurisdiction embraced Nueva Galicia, Culiacan, Copala, Colima, 
and Zacatula, or, using the modern names, the states of Jalisco, 
Zacatecas, Durango, and Colima. Sonora, Sinaloa, New Mexico, 
Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Texas were added later. 

The president of Nueva Galicia and the audiencia of Guada- 
lajara were made by their constituent cedula subordinate to the 
viceroy, and were enjoined to "have with him the good accord 
owed to one who represents our royal person." The president 
often had upon his shoulders grave responsibilities. In 1740 
Aysa, the president, maintained 4000 Spanish troops and 8000 
auxiliaries to defend the coast against an expected raid by Anson. 
He provided funds for this force from private donations, and 
reaped the reward of being chided by the King for his extrava- 
gance, though the vicero}^ had ordered him to spare no expense 
in providing safety. On the other hand, the president was freed 
from responsibility for the northern frontier when the wars in 
Sonora devastated that province before and during the visitation 

39 Eecopilacion, ley 7, tit. 15, lib. 2; Eivera, I, 82. 

40 Galvez, In forme General, 11. 

41 Kevillagigedo, art. 66. 

64 The Administration of New Spain 

of Galvez. The attempt to suppress this revolt was managed 
entirely by the viceroy and his governors until the time of 

The audiencias were recognized for their dignity and probity, 
but their efforts to encroach upon administrative ground and 
their bickerings over ceremonial and precedence were conspicu- 
ous faults. Aside from their functions as members of courts 
sitting en banc, and that of advising the viceroy or the president, 
the oidores exercised individual functions as special commission- 
ers and as visitors of districts, and as coadjutors in the tribunal 
de cuentas, or central accounting office and court of real haci- 
enda, and in the jazgado de bienes de difuntos, or probate court. 
For these duties they received stipends in addition to their sal- 
aries, which made the position of oidor much coveted. Incum- 
bents of the office were hedged in by restrictions on their social 
activities ; they were forbidden to marry or engage in commerce 
within their jurisdictions, or even to maintain familiar social 
relations with any one, lest their administration of justice be 
thereby compromised. 42 

6. The Inquisition. — Of wider jurisdiction than the audi- 
encias was the Inquisition. It was established in Mexico in 1571^, 
and had authority in affairs of the faith throughout the entire 
viceroyalty, the Windward Islands, Guatemala, and the Philip- 
pines. The court was composed of three members, the youngest 
of whom acted as judge. Croix during his term experienced 
little difficulty with the Inquisition, finding its members capable, 
honorable, and pleasant to deal with. "When occasion arose in 
which the Inquisition tried to intervene in cases which belonged 
to the sola del crimen, Croix found it possible to compose the 

42 For more extended discussion of the audiencias see Solorzano, Politico, 
Indiana, II, 268-307; Desdevises du Desert, L'Espagne de V Ancien Hegime, 
II, Les Institutions, 138-156; H. Vander Linden, L'Expansion Coloniale de 
I'Espagne jusqu'au Debut du XIXe Siecle, 349-351; W. G. F. Koscher, The 
Spanish Colonial System, E. G. Bourne, ed. (New York, 1904), 24-25; see 
also Becopilacion, tit. 16, lib. 2, passim. 

Public Protection 65 

difficulty in conference with the ranking inquisitor. Decision 
as to competency of jurisdiction rested with the viceroy, under an 
ordinance of 1765. 43 The Inquisition was, in fact, little checked 
by the viceroys until the time of the second Revillagigedo, who 
obliged it to consult himself before issuing edicts. 

This court did not concern itself with cases in which Indians 
were involved. The clergy had a special legal institution of their 
own, under the canonical law, with their own church tribunals 
and class privileges, or fueros, which were gradually limited by 
establishment of competency of the courts of the crown in all 
cases under criminal law, and with the declaration that cogni- 
zance of cases involving pious funds and foundations for the 
support of the clergy should be taken into the secular courts. 
Questions of competency of jurisdiction between ecclesiastical 
and civil courts were decided by the viceroy. 44 

7. La Acordada. — Another court of general jurisdiction was J 
La Acordada. It was established to deal with cases of highway 
robbery in outlying districts, the audiencias often being too re- 
mote and their dockets too full for efficient trial of these cases. 
Ordinary courts were empowered to try such cases at first, and 
even to impose penalties of death or mutilation. In 1601 this 
right was limited by the audiencia of Mexico, which reserved the 
right of review before execution of such sentences. As crime 
increased special criminal courts were established in 1634, under 
officers known as provinciates de la hermandad, modeled after the 
famous Santa Hermandad of Castile. 45 These provinciates were 
empowered to inflict the death penalty on all robbers save In- 
dians, who were to be tried in the ordinary courts. The culprits 
often evaded justice by seeking sanctuary in the churches, efforts 
to prevent which were unavailing. Under the viceroy Valero 
the hermandad was relieved of the need to report its sentences 

43 Croix, Correspondance, 266-7; Instruction que dejo, 88-5-13. 

44 Alaman, Historia de Mejico, I, 47. Bevillagigedo, art. 97. 
4 s Eecopilacion, ley 1, tit. 4, lib. 5. 

66 The Administration of New Spain 

to the audiencia, and appeal in robbery cases was abolished. This 
measure was passed by Valero in accord with the audiencia, and 
approved by the king in 1722; the mode of establishment gave 
name to the court, which was made of exclusive jurisdiction. 
The tribunal received enlarged powers in 1747, when it took 
charge of the roads of New Spain, Nueva Galicia, and Nueva 
Vizcaya ; it later had jurisdiction over prohibited beverages. By 
cedula of December 21, 1765, the process of La Acordada was 
made verbal and summary. In spite of the opposition of the 
sola del crimen of the audiencia, this court came to monopolize 
the criminal business of the courts. In the time of Eevillagigedo 
it was trying four-fifths of the criminal cases. The captain of 
the hermandad exercised power through some 2500 subordinates 
throughout the viceroyalty. They gave their services, and com- 
posed a vigilant and effective police force. Competency of juris- 
diction as between the sola del crimen and La Acordada depended 
on which court seized the criminal to be tried. 46 

The first captain of La Acordada was Jose Velazquez, who 
made his name a terror to brigands. He was succeeded by his 
son, who was in turn succeeded by Jacinto de Concha, the in- 
cumbent during the term of Croix. Concha was then old and 
infirm and eager to lay aside his office, but, though he submitted 
names of three nominees as possible successors, no one could 
be found who would satisfy the requirements for so arduous a 
position. 47 

8. Courts of first instance. — There were also a number of 
semi-administrative courts. The alcaldes and their courts have 
already been referred to. These were the jueces ordinarios who 
had charge of ordinary criminal and civil law in first instance 
in the cities and towns. They constituted a judicial hierarchy 

46 Alaman, Historia de Mejico, I, 50-55; Bancroft, History of Mexico, 
III, 272-276. Bancroft is based on Alaman. Eevillagigedo, art. 99. Galvez, 
Informe General, 11-12. 

47 Croix, Correspondance, 268; Instruction que dejo, 88-5-13. Galvez, 
uoi supra. 

Court of Public Finance 67 

covering the entire colony, with the audiencias at their head. 
Civil courts attached to the revenue offices were as numerous 
as those offices. Prior to the ordinance of the intendants, the 
jurisdiction in matters concerning revenues was held first by the 
jueces ordinarios, and later by the officers of the treasury and 
subtreasuries. Upon the passage of the above-mentioned ordi- 
nance the intendants were given jurisdiction in matters of real 
hacienda. 48 The descendants of Cortes had special judges, named 
by the governors of their hereditary estates. Appeal from these 
magistrates lay to one oidor, or, in case of the death penalty or 
other serious sentence, to the sola del crimen entire. 49 

9. The Tribunal de Cuentas. — This was a court of public 
accounts, which sat in the same building as the audiencia, and 
exercised administrative and judicial functions in connection 
with real hacienda, of which it was the ranking tribunal. It 
was empowered by ordinance of October 29, 1605, to hear and 
decide extra-legal questions concerning accounts of real hacienda 
which had assumed the gravity but not the form of suits. Suits 
occasioned by measures of the accountants of this court were 
heard in first instance and on first appeal by three oidores of the 
audiencia, named for the suit by the viceroy or the president. 
Two accountants sat with them, having consultative votes. De- 
fense of the king's interests was in the hands of the fiscal de 
hacienda of the audiencia. Appeal by either party to suits lay 
to the Council of the Indies, if first appeal as above did not 
result decisively. 50 

When the court was organized it was composed of three chief 
accountants (cont adores) , two lower accountants (ordenadores) , 
and one marshal (alguacil ejecutor). These officers were gradu- 
ally increased in number. In 1771 the tribunal de cuentas was 

4 8 Eevillagigedo, art. 100. 

49 Eevillagigedo, arts. 100-107. 

so Recopilacion, ley 33, tit. 1, lib. 8; see also the titulo throughout. 
Galvez, In forme General, 13. 

68 The Administration of Neiv Spain 

composed of a regente, an alguacil mayor, four cont adores de 
re suit as, six ordenadores, five ordenadores de provincia, two ofici- 
ales de libros, one escribano, and one portero. The combined 
salaries amounted to 39,331 pesos per annum. Though there 
were eighteen ordenadores of the various classes mentioned, the 
accounts were in wretched condition, the balance sheets always 
being two or three years behind time. The ordenadores all had 
the same duties to perform, but there were absurd discrepancies 
in their salaries. The three contadores de cuentas, originally 
accountants, as their name indicates, had ceased to work at the 
books except for extra pay out of hours, and now only attended 
sittings (the mesa mayor) as members of the court of audience. 
This they had done upon their own initiative, contrary to the 
provisions of the law. Galvez urged the court, by various autos 
de visita, to amend this condition, but his efforts met with little 
success. While the vistor was absent from Mexico on the frontier 
in 1768, Croix recommended the reduction of the accounting force 
to the number of twelve, suggesting that they should have the 
salary which had previously gone to the eighteen accountants. 
Yet, though some of the improvements suggested by Croix were 
adopted in 1776, Revillagigedo found the books of the treasury 
in as bad condition as Galvez had found them. In 1790 a num- 
ber of employees were added and salaries were raised. 51 

The tribunal de cuentas was obliged to keep records like those 
of the audiencia, to observe the same secrecy in its decisions, to 
summon witnesses or persons to be tried, and, in accord with the 
viceroy or president, to send out officers to collect fines or sums 
due the treasury. Competency of jurisdiction between the audi- 
encia and this court was decided by votes of the viceroy or presi- 
dent, one oidor and one contador. The orders of the court were 
enforced by governors of provinces, corregidores, and alcaldes, 
as well as by prison wardens {alcaldes de cdrceles). In meetings 

si Galvez, Informe General, 13-14; Bevillagigedo, arts. 800-801. 

Local Government 69 

of juntas affecting real hacienda the senior contador had a seat 
and a vote. 

The tribunal de cuentas did not figure as a mere adjunct of 
the audiencia, but had direct relations with the Council of the 
Indies as well. It reported annually to that body an account of 
the state of its business, with recommendations as to measures 
deemed advisable to be taken. Questions of doubt as to pro- 
cedure in the tribunal were decided by that body itself, without 
intervention of the audiencia. Nor might review of its orders to 
collect sums due be had by the audiencia until after such sums 
had been paid, when the intervention described was in order. 52 

10. Municipal corporations. — Important administrative du- 
ties were performed by the municipal corporations (ayuntami- 
entos and cabildos). 53 Except at Mexico, where Creoles and 
Europeans shared the positions equally, the city governments 
were managed almost exclusively by Creoles. The ayuntamientos 
and cabildos were in charge of municipal improvements, police, 
and the handling of municipal revenues. They were composed 
of varying numbers of perpetual and elective councilmen 
(regidores) . In Mexico the regidores elected two alcaldes every 
year and six term regidores every two years. One of the latter 
was syndic, or city attorney, who was usually of great influence 
in the corporation on account of his legal education and social 
category. The hereditary regidores were first sons of old fami- 
lies, whose Spanish founders had bought the office in perpetuity 
for their sons. The municipal alcaldes had charge of ordinary 
judicial processes and, in addition, control of police jurisdiction 
over the wards, or barrios? 4 " 

52 Becopilacion, ley 58, tit. 1, lib. 8 ; ley 86, tit. 1, lib. 8 ; Alaman, Historia 
de Mejico, I, 57. Villaroel, Enfermedades Politicas, 53, speaks of the 
tribunal de cuentas as ' ' tercera sala de la audiencia. ' ' Failure to elect 
alcaldes and regidores was a conspicuous sign of decay of municipal admin- 
istration. See pp. 222, 225. 

53 See above, p. 60. 

54 Alaman, Historia de Mejico, I, 57; E. M. de Labra, Orientacion 
Americana de Espana (Madrid, 1909), 128; Bourne, Spain in America, 235-6. 

70 The Administration of New 

The plans and measures of Galvez for the improvement of 
municipal offices and officials, for inducing them to assume re- 
sponsibility for the collection of royal revenues, and for increas- 
ing and husbanding municipal revenues, will constitute part of 
the discussion of later chapters of the present work. 55 
• 11. The Consulado. — A judicial and administrative corpor- 
ation of wide influence was the consulado of Mexico. This was 
the commercial organization of the viceroyalty, possessing the 
general character and purposes of a modern chamber of com- 
merce, but acting in addition as an arm of the government for 
collecting certain duties, for encouragement of agriculture, and 
for construction of numerous public works. It was a body of 
great wealth and influence ; with it Galvez had his battle royal 
concerning the inception of his plan for reform of customs col- 
lections. 56 Yet, strangely enough, it was during his later min- 
istry that there was a marked increase in the number of consu- 
lados? 1 and a great development of their power and revenue- 
producing capacity. 

The consulado of Mexico was established because of a repre- 
sentation by the cabildo of Mexico that the commerce of New 
Spain had experienced astonishing growth and activity, while 
at every step suits and questions of administration were arising 
over the affairs of commercial companies, bankruptcies, insur- 
ance, and so on, whereby the ordinary courts were overwhelmed, 
causing exasperating delays, injuries, and expenses. There was 

"5 On the alcaldes, cabildos, etc., for further material see Solorzano, II, 
250-260; F. W. Blackmar, Spanish Institutions of the Southwest (Baltimore, 
1891), 153-191, has a discussion of later Spanish colonial municipalities. 
O. G. Jones, "Local Government in the Spanish Colonies as Provided by 
the Becopilacion" (in The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, July, 1915, 
Vol. XIX, No. 1, pp. 65-90) gives the main legal provisions. 

56 See Chapter V. 
i/ 57 This expansion of the consulados was provided for in Article 53 of 

the Eeglamento de Comercio Libre, Oct. 12, 1778, and a royal cedula of 
November 24, 1784. Consulados were established at Seville, Malaga, Ali- 
cante, Coruna, Santander, and San Cristobal de la Laguna, Tenerife, in 
1784, 1785, and 1786 (A. X. Perez y Lopez, Teatro de la Leqislacion Uni- 
versal de Espana e Indias (28 v., Madrid, 1791-98), VIII, 338. 

Protection of Commerce 71 

opposition on the part of some of the scriveners and attorneys 
of Mexico, who even went so far as to set themselves against the 
enforcement of the royal cedula of June 15, 1592, under which 
the consulado was officially recognized. 58 It, like the later con- 
sulado of Lima, owed its inception to viceroyal initiative. That 
of Mexico was in 1603 styled the TJniversidad de los mercaderes 
(university of merchants) ; the Lima body was in 1627 given the 
name TJniversidad de la caridad (university of charity). 59 The 
ordinances of both bodies were made constituent laws by royal 
enactment. 00 

The consulado of Mexico had at its head one prior and two 
consules, who were elected by thirty merchants, and served both 
as executive committee and tribunal of the organization. Asso- 
ciated with them were five diputados, who exercised advisory 
functions. The membership was composed of Spanish wholesale 
merchants or shipping agents, married men or widowers over 
twenty-five years of age. Alaman states^ that the membership 
was Castilian. The retiring prior and the one retiring consul 
each year retained consultative authority during the term of 
their immediate successors. 61 

58 J. N. Rodriguez de San Miguel, Pandectas Hispano-Megicanas (Mexico, 
1852), II, 353. 

59 Moses, The Spanish Dependencies in South America, II, 68-70) makes 
the consulado of Lima owe its inception to the Prince of Esquilache, the 
viceroy who succeeded Montesclaros, and dates its organization 1619. 

so Becopilacion, ley 1, tit. 46, lib. 9. See this titulo passim for the laws 
governing the American consulados. The Ordenanzas del Consulado de la 
TJniversidad de los Mercaderes de esta Nueva Espana (1636), reprint, Mexico, 
1772, are in the Bancroft Library. A translation of them is given in C. E. 
Chapman, The Spanish Consulados of the Eighteenth Century (Master's 
thesis, Berkeley, 1910) MS. A third and last edition of the Ordenanzas 
appeared in 1816. For guidance in matters not covered by its own ordi- 
nances the consulado of Mexico was governed by the Ordenanzas de Bilbao, 
which enjoyed greater repute in Spain than the ordinances of Burgos and 
of Seville, and were gradually extended to America. They were discarded 
in Spain upon the establishment of the mercantile code of 1829, but in 
Mexico they constituted the only mercantile code in existence as late as 
1852 (Rodriguez de San Miguel, II, 354-5). 

si Historia de Mejico, I, 59-60; Croix, Instruccion que dejo, says that 
the prior and consules were elected alternately from the Montaheses and 

72 The Administration of New Spain 

y The consulado was maintained by funds derived from collec- 
tion of the averia (convoy duty). It was authorized to employ 
clerks, porters, attorneys, special representatives before the vice- 
roy, and agents in Spain. Salaries were paid to all officers, rep- 
resentatives, and employees. 

The prior and consules held court thrice weekly. Their juris- 
diction was competent in all suits concerning commerce, between 
merchant and merchant, between partners, or in controversies 
resulting from sales or exchanges, or fulfillment of shipping con- 
tracts. Cases brought before the consulado were to be decided 
a verdad sabida y buena fe guardada, that is, without the legal 
complexities and formalities which characterized Spanish juris- 
prudence, and which still remain the evil inheritance of all 
nations of Iberian origin. 62 

Appeal lay to an oidor of the audiencia, appointed annually 
for the purpose by the viceroy. If a judgment was reversed by 
the oidor, he might review the case sitting with two merchants 
chosen by himself and sworn for the hearing; beyond this there 
was no further appeal. Questions of competency of jurisdiction 
were determined by the viceroy without appeal. 63 

The consulado of Mexico had territorial jurisdiction over the 
entire viceroyalty, Guatemala, Yucatan, and Soconusco. Its 
hearings were at first intended to be oral and brief, but the 
court departed from that practice, indulging in long formal 
trials, and as a result its judicial functions were gradually ab- 
sorbed by the audiencia and the other courts. 64 

the Vizcainos. Merchants of other origin took sides with these two groups 
according to their business affinity. 

62 Macedo, Tres Mongrafias, I, La Evolution Mercantil, 35. 

63 Recopilacion, ley 37, tit. 46, lib. 9; ley 40, same tit. and lib. Eevilla- 
gigedo, Instruction (1754), I, arts. 92 and 336. Ordenansas del Consulado, 
arts. 1, 10, 11; Moses, The Establishment of Spanish Rule, 173-6, on the 
Caracas consulado. 

64 Linares, Instruction que dejo (1716), in Instrucciones que los Virreyes 
de Nueva Espaiia dejaron (Mexico, 1867), 310-311. 

Services of the Consulado 73 

The most efficient work of the consulado was in promoting 
commerce and assisting government enterprises for the public 
welfare. The members were men of means, accustomed to affairs 
and to handling large sums of money. During part of the eight- 
eenth century it collected the alcaoala (duty on all sales) of 
Mexico City. That function was withdrawn by the elder Re- 
villagigedo under royal order. Aside from the averia and the 
alcabala, other imposts were sometimes collected by the consu- 
lado. Among them was the peage, a toll collected on vehicles 
and pack animals using the roads, for the maintenance of the 

Villaroel, an attorney of Mexico, in his Enfermedades Poli- 
ticas 65 (MS, 1789), was censorious of the consulado, thinking that 
its powers hindered rather than helped commerce, and that its 
members, being old as well as wealthy, were not suitable ministers 
of justice. Alaman dwells on the public benefactions of the 
consulado. It was responsible for the erection of the custom- 
house of Mexico and the hospital of the Bethlehemite friars. It 
built roads and excavated the famous Huehuetoca canal for the 
drainage of the City of Mexico. It maintained a regiment at 
its own cost and in 1762 put it into service for the defense of the 
capital when a descent of the English upon Vera Cruz was feared. 
This regiment often policed the city of Mexico, and in the ex- 
pulsion of the Jesuits it lent its assistance. Frequently the 
consulado gave or lent money to the government for needs which 
would otherwise have gone unprovided for, as when Galvez ob- 
tained money from it for his Sonora war. 06 How firmly in- 
trenched the consulado was in its control of commerce, and how 
conservative it was in resenting any encroachments on its ancient 



65 For a notice of Villaroel and his manuscript see Beristain y Souza, 
Biblioteca Hispano Americana Setentrional, Adiciones y Correcciones (Mex- 
ico, 1898), 622-3. 

66 Alaman, Historia de Mejico, I, 61-64. During the rule of the second 
Kevillagigedo the averia duty of one-sixth per cent yielded the consulado 
70,000 pesos per annum (Instruction Beservada, arts. 117-8). 

74 The Administration of New Spain 

privileges, will develop in the narrative of the fifth chapter of 
this work. 67 

[/ 12. The Cuerpo de Mineria. — An important court which owed 
its creation to the efforts of Galvez was that of the cuerpo de 
mineria (miners' association). This body occupied the same 
position with regard to the mining industry as did the consulado 
with regard to commerce. Galvez began, almost as soon as he 
arrived in New Spain in 1765, to promote the welfare of the 
mining industry. The movement to grant the miners status on 
a par with that of the merchants was very slow, and it was not 
until 1771, at the close of his term, that Croix recommended that 
new general ordinances for the miners should be framed. The 
Council of the Indies concurred in June, 1773, whereupon the 
viceroy (Bucarely) was ordered to draw up the ordinances. In 
September, 1774, the viceroy advised the king that the miners 
proposed not only a body like the commercial consulados but 
wanted to establish a bank for the promotion of mining, a new 
college of metallurgy, and a new mining code. The Council of 
the Indies approved this idea in the spring of 1776, whereupon 
the king ordered the wishes of the miners granted. The new 
ordinances were prepared and sent to the king in August, 1779, 
and proclaimed by Galvez as minister of the Indies in 1783. 68 

6 " The constituent congress of the United Mexican States decreed the 
suppression of the consulados (a second one was established at Vera Cruz 
in 1795) within the federation on October 16, 1824, because their Spanish 
membership had actively opposed independence. At that time the reve- 
nues of the averia and peage were ordered transferred from the consulado 
officers to the public credit, with all assets, books, and accounts. The 
judicial functions of the abolished consulados were transferred to the 
alcaldes or jueces de letras, who were to sit with two colleagues to be 
chosen from four nominees of the litigants. Even when in 1837 it was 
ordered that the old Spanish courts should cease to exist when once the 
superior tribunals and courts of first instance had been established these 
juzcjados mercantiles were continued wherever they had been created. That 
of Mexico City was still in existence in 1852 (Eodriguez de San Miguel, 
IT, Nos. 2559, 2560, and note.) 

68 Reales Ordenanzas para la Direction . . . del . . . Cuerpo de la Mine- 
ria (Madrid, 1783). 

Promotion of Mining Interests 75 

Humboldt makes the statement that the tribunal was organ- 
ized in 1777. It sat in the viceroy's palace. By its ordinances 
the court was composed of a director, 69 two deputies from the 
cuerpo de mineria, an assessor, two consultors, and a judge. 
After 1791 there were thirty-seven councils of the provincial 
mines which were dependent upon this central court. The pro- 
prietors of mines sent their representatives to the provincial 
councils, while the two resident deputies at Mexico were chosen 
by the district deputies. The tribunal maintained apoderados, 
or agents, at Madrid for the purpose of representing their inter- 
ests at court. 

The effect of this organization was to make the mining oper- 
ators more sensible of their real community of interest, though 
jealousies retarded their most profitable co-operation. The in- 
come of the court was derived from two-thirds of the seigniorage 
duty, which was one real in each mark of silver delivered to the 
mint. From this revenue the tribunal paid the salaries of its 
officers, maintained a school of mines in which Creoles and In-<^ 
dians were instructed, and made loans to promote mining oper-^ 
ations. Not the best of business acumen was observed in ad- 
vancing these loans. During the wars of the close of the century 
the cuerpo was obliged to donate large sums to the crown and 
to make loans which were not promptly repaid. To meet these 
demands, the miners had to make loans on their own account, 
and as a result half the income was expended in payments of 
interest. 70 

69 The first director was the famous Joaquin Velasquez de Leon, who 
so surprised Chappe d'Auteroche by the exactness of his astronomical 
observations upon the occasion of the Frenchman 's visit to Lower Cali- 
fornia in 1769 to observe the transit of Venus (A. Pefiafiel, Ciudades Colo- 
niales y Capitales de la Bepiiblica Mexicana, Mexico, 1908-14), Estado de 
Guerrero, 2 a parte, cap. xii. 

70 Kevillagigedo, arts. 465-473; Humboldt, III, 323-27. The ordinances 
made by Galvez for the tribunal and cuerpo de mineria were translated by 
H. W. Halleck and printed in A Collection of Mining Laws of Spain and 
Mexico (San Francisco, 1859), 187-308. Villaroel, Enfermedades Politic >as, 
66-68, severely criticized the business skill of the directors of this 

76 The Administration of New Spain 

13. Real Hacienda. — It now remains to note certain charac- 
teristics of the department of public finance, or real hacienda. 
Practically every office and officer mentioned in the preceding 
pages had dealings with the royal estate. Care and development 
of crown revenues, their collection and disbursement, all com- 
bined to constitute a phase rather than a department of govern- 
ment. It was to create revenues that the colonies existed. Real 
hacienda, then, meant more than "treasury" or "exchequer"; 
it included all the royal possession (haber) ; it touched every 
phase of private as well as public life ; even religion itself was 
utilized to bring coin into the royal coffers. Real hacienda was 
the organic institutional expression of the raison d'etre of the 
Spanish colonial world. 

Needless to say, this institution in the colonies was modeled 
upon and contributory to real hacienda of the Peninsula. 71 At 
the beginning colonial finance was in the hands of the Council 
of the Indies. In 1542 that body was ordered to spend one day's 
session of each week in planning the prosperity of real hacienda. 
When viceroys and governors were sent out the Council charged 
upon them strictly the conservation and development of all crown 
resources. The colonial junta superior de hacienda was estab- 
lished in Peru in 1548-49, and was carried to New Spain in 1554. 
This body began to establish a system of administration, and, in 
weekly meetings, it organized and promoted financial matters. 
The junta was composed of the viceroy, the senior oidor of the 
audiencia, the fiscals, and the oficiales reales, or treasury officers. 
By article IV of the ordinance of the intendants, the junta was 
composed of the regente of the audiencia, the fiscal of real haci- 
enda — with a vote in all affairs in which he was not an advocate — 

7i A good sketch of the royal revenues of Spain is contained in Col- 
meiro, Historia de la Economia Politico, en Espana, II, 539-595. Less satis- 
factory is the briefer article in Antequera, Historia. de la Legislacion 
Espanola, 354-56. A good historical view of Spanish public finance is 
contained in P. R. Campomanes, Cartas Politico Economical (A. R. Villa, 
ed., Madrid, 1878). See also, for the reign of Charles III, Floridablanca 's 
Apology, in Coxe, Memoirs, V, Appendix I. 

Department of Finance 77 

the senior member of the tribunal de cuentas, and the ranking 
contactor or the treasurer of military finances (ejercito y real 
hacienda). The clerk was the scrivener of the superintendency 
of real hacienda. 72 

In 1559 an attempt was made to consolidate the treasury 
systems of Mexico and Peru with that of Spain, by putting them 
under the control of the Consejo de Hacienda, but the experi- 
ment was discontinued in 1562, it having been found impracti- 
cable to divide colonial administration as was done when papers 
referring to the administration were sent to the Council of the 
Indies and papers referring to finance to the Consejo de Haci- 
enda. Colonial hacienda was therefore resumed by the Council 
of the Indies, with occasional advice from the Consejo de 

In 1568 a junta general promulgated the first ordinances for 
governing all branches of real hacienda in the Indies. In 1563 
the power to make extraordinary expenditures such as would be 
caused by approach of enemies, or other emergencies, was taken 
from the colonial junta de hacienda, and confided to the real 
acuerdo of the audiencia. In 1605 three tribunates de cuentas 
were organized in America, one in Peru, one in Granada, and 
one in Mexico. In 1627 the viceroys were authorized to expend 
funds for emergencies without concurrence of the audiencia. 
Formal expenditures for colonial affairs were required to have 
royal approval as a prerequisite. The viceroy was expected to 
make annual remission to the Peninsula of large sums. In 1747 
his power in the management of finance was increased when he 
was made superintendent of real hacienda. Moneys were then 
drawn from the royal coffers (cajas reales) upon his requisition, 
with or without the signatures of the oidores. The promotion 
of the affairs of real hacienda, and its defense in litigation, was 
made the duty of the fiscal de hacienda. 

72 Revillagigedo, arts. 817-825. 

78 The Administration of New Spain 

So much for central organization and disbursement. As 
regards collection, care, and administration of distinct revenues 
— local organization — this was in charge of treasury officials 
(oficiales reales), who had been placed in the viceroy alty from 
the first, in imitation of the practice in Aragon and Castile. The 
earliest oficiales reales were the contador (or factor) and the 
veedor. In time there came to be three, namely, a treasurer, 
who received and disbursed moneys; the factor and veedor, 
whose duty it was to be present at and attend to financial trans- 
actions affecting the treasury, under advice from the governor 
of the district and the other oficiales; and third, an accountant 
(contador) , who kept the books and drew orders on the treasurer 
for salaries and other expenditures. Hernan Cortes had no 
sooner begun his conquests on the mainland of Mexico than he 
established the beginnings of real hacienda. In the Villa Rica 
de Vera Cruz he elected as factor Bernardino Vazquez de Tapia ; 
Alonzo Davila was made contador, and Gonzalo de Mejia treas- 
urer. To these officers Cortes paid over the revenues derived 
from the fifths (quint os) , and, later, over 100,000 pesos in trib- 
utes to the emperor from the conquered Aztecs, in gold, silver, 
and precious stones. These two revenues, the fifths and the 
tribute, were the first two branches of the royal patrimony in 
New Spain. 

In 1522 the emperor named as treasurer of Mexico Alonzo de 
Estrada, as factor Gonzalo de Salazar, as contador Eodrigo de 
Albornoz, as veedor Peralmindes Chirinos, and as assessor the 
licenciado Alonzo Suazo. These officers undertook the royal ad- 
ministration in 1524. In 1530 royal orders prescribed that one 
of the above oficiales reales should reside in Vera Cruz for the 
purpose of collecting crown revenues there. By royal cedula of 
May 20, 1533, permission was granted to place lieutenants of the 
Mexico oficiales reales at Vera Cruz. In 1572 this arrangement 
was superseded by the nomination of two oficiales reales, a con- 

Subtreasuries and Custom-houses 79 

tador and a treasurer, for the Gulf port. The oficiales of Mexico 
were also held responsible for collection of duties at Acapulco, 
where there was already a paymaster (pagador) in 1562. In 
1597 a contador and a treasurer for Acapulco were appointed, 
and the oficiales of Mexico ceased to have control of the Pacific 
port in that year. 73 

At first the oficiales reales did not have jurisdiction over suits 
relating to collections ; in such disputes they were obliged to re- 
sort to the ordinary justices for judgment against debtors. When 
their districts were large the oficiales placed their lieutenants, 
under bonds, in the towns as these were established. In centers 
of collection cajas reales were established, with two, three, or 
four keys, one for each official, in accordance with the number 
of the latter, which, as has been seen, was not uniform. The 
caja (coffer) was situated in the domicile of one of the oficiales, 
that edifice being consequently styled the casa real. 14 ' 

From time to time the officers of the treasury were instructed 
by the king, the Council of the Indies, or the viceroys and gover- 
nors concerning their duties, their oaths of office, their bonds, 
and their accounts. In the early years annual inspections of the 
cajas were made by the entire audiencia, or by the governors 
or corregidores. The oficiales reales bought and sold goods at 
auction or otherwise for the king's account for gain; they leased 
revenues to the highest bidders, or collected them direct, as the 
case and need might be. Having this authority, they soon be- 
came stiff-necked, affecting honors and pre-eminences ; when they 
w T ere remiss in collecting revenues they blamed the ordinary jus- 
tices for the delays which occurred in litigation ; in order to 
remedy the defect they were themselves given jurisdiction in 

73 Joaquin Maniau j Torquemada, Compendio de la Historia de la Beal 
Hacienda de Nueva Espana, Escrito en el Ano de 1794, printed in Rodriguez 
de San Miguel, Pandectas Hispano-Megicanas, II, 158-190. Cited on the 
following pages as Maniau, Compendio. 

74 Bancroft, History of Central America, I, 267, note. 

80 The Administration of Neiv Spain 

first instance over disputes concerning revenues, with appeal to 
the audiencias. 

Prior to 1605 a minister of the audiencia, with a contador 
under him, kept the general accounts of real hacienda. In that 
year the tribunal de cuentas assumed the duty of keeping all 
accounts save those of the alcabala, the tributes, and quicksilver. 75 
The alcabala was collected by the City of Mexico, and the two 
other revenues were cared for by their own central offices (con- 
tadurias). In- 1610 the three contadurias were united into one, 
but in 1651 the alcabala was again put under its own contaduria. 

Duties and taxes were collected not only at seaports but in 
every village and town. All forms of industry and amusement 
were levied upon for funds. A small army of officials was re- 
quired for the task. In 1754, one year after the administration 
of the alcabala of Mexico was taken from the consulado by Re- 
villagigedo, the employees in that revenue alone numbered eighty- 
eight, and their salaries totaled 54,050 pesos. By 1789 the num- 
ber of alcabala employees had increased to 125, including fifty- 
five guards ; the salaries totaled 74,495 pesos. 

By the last quarter of the eighteenth century custom-houses 
with salaried officers existed at Mexico, Vera Cruz, Acapulco, 
Puebla, Oaxaca, Tlascala, Queretaro, Tepeaca, Tabasco, Toluca, 
Celaya, Guanajuato, Villa de Leon, Cuernavaca, Zacatecas, Gua- 
dalajara, Villa de Cordoba, Orizaba, Valladolid, San Miguel el 
Grande, Tampico, San Luis Potosi, Durango, Zamora, Jalapa, 
Chihuahua, Bolanos, Tehuantepec, Zacatlan, Apam, Tlalpujuhua, 
Pachuca, and Fresnillo. Nearly all of these custom-houses had 
from one to eight branches in nearby villages, where duties were 
collected by officers who received ten or twelve per cent commis- 
sion on taxes collected. Fifty-nine lesser communities were 
served by officers who received fourteen per cent on collections. 76 
Funds collected were deposited in the. cajas reales, of which the 

75 See p. 77. 

76 Cf. Eevillagigedo, art. 1068. 

The Fiscal Hierarchy 81 

caja matriz, or principal one, was of course at Mexico. The caja 
at Vera Cruz was of great importance also, as into that port came 
large sums received from commerce, as well as the considerable 
remittances for the poorer colonies and Spain. The greatest need 
for cajas reales was at commercial and mining centers. In addi- 
tion to those at Mexico, Vera Cruz, and Acapulco, there existed 
during the Spanish regime cajas at Bolanos, Parral, Zacatecas 
(1570), Durango (1575), Guadalajara (1578), San Luis Potosi 
(1628), Pachuca (1667), Guanajuato (1675), Sombrerete (1681), 
Carmen (1716), Zimapan (1721), Chihuahua (1768), Alamos 
(1769), Perote (1770), and Arispe (1780). From these centers 
funds were transported to Mexico by mule trains every three, 
four, or six months, under military escort. 

After the initiation of the ordinance of the intendants, certain 
of the cajas, those situated at the chief cities of intendancies, 
namely, at Mexico, Vera Cruz, Puebla, Oaxaca, Valladolid, Gua- 
najuato, Potosi, Zacatecas, Durango, Guadalajara, and Sonora, 
were known as cajas principales or de provincia; the others were 
known, as the less important and remote ones had long been 
known, as cajas fordneas. In all of them the oficiales were the 
chief administrators of real hacienda, for, although there were 
at various times established separate administrators for certain 
revenues, all of these were entered in the cajas reales, with the 
exception of the revenues from tobacco and playing-cards. The 
immediate superiors of the oficiales were the intendants. The 
latter were subject to the viceroy, who as superintendent-general 
subdelegate of New Spain recognized as his chief the minister 
of hacienda, who was the financial head of the entire empire. 77 

The systems of accounting employed in the treasury were 
established by numerous laws of the Recopilacion, by the In- 
struction provisional of Galvez in 1767 and by numerous other 
regulations, the result being that a different system was in vogue 

"i See above, p. 76. 

82 The Administration of New Spain 

in each of the cajas. In 1785 the contaduria general de Indias 
attempted to harmonize and unify these systems by introducing 
double-entry bookkeeping, but the confusion resulting from the 
attempt prompted the King in October, 1787, to order the old 
~)(" methods restored. In 1790 a second attempt to introduce double- 
entry was begun, but had not been finally decided upon in 1793. 78 
Such, in brief, was the system of public finance of New Spain. 
It is impossible to show in a few pages what a cumbersome, in- 
tricate thing real hacienda came to be. In the final chapter of 
this work the character and purpose of the several revenues and 
significant phases of their history will be discussed. The reforms 
which Galvez introduced in the revenues, and the later work of 
the younger Revillagigedo, will show how effective were the meas- 
ures of Charles III in making the system of public finance of 
New Spain equal to its opportunity. 79 

78 Maniau, Compendio, 160; Eevillagigedo, arts. 765-771. 

79 In the foregoing account of real hacienda use has been made of 
Fabian Fonseca and Carlos de Urrutia 's Historia General de Heal Hacienda, 
Escrita por Orden del Virey Conde de Eevillagigedo (6 v., Mexico, 1845). 
The Historia was written in 1791-2, in obedience to the command of the 
ordinance of the intendants, articles 109-115. It was first published in 
1841 by order of the Mexican Republic. Eevillagigedo, Instruction Beser- 
vada, arts. 917-927, recounts the circumstances of its composition. See 
Beristain, Biblioteca Hispano Americana Setentrional, at the word Fonseca 
(Don Fabian). Don Carlos Urrutia was a mariscal de campo, captain- 
general of Santo Domingo, and, at this time, president-elect of Guatemala. 
Fonseca and Urrutia were given as assistants for writing this history 
Jose Ignacio Sierra and Joaquin Maniau y Torquemada. Maniau was 
chief officer of the tobacco contaduria and contador of the montepio de 
oficinas, a sort of civil-service pension fund. He extracted in 1794 the 
essential features of the Historia General, which was composed of thirty 
manuscript volumes. His extract, the Compendio de la Historia de la, Beal 
Hacienda de Nueva Espaha, cited above (see p. 79), was, besides being 
published in the form already noted, issued also from a manuscript in the 
possession of the Sociedad de Geografia y Estadistica, by Alberto M. 
Carreno, in a form which the present writer has not seen (Carreno, Jefes 
del Ejercito Mexicano en el Ano de 1841 , Mexico, 1914, prologo, p. v). For 
an extended notice of the work of Fonseca and Urrutia see Bancroft, 
History of Mexico, III, 678-79. John Pinkerton, Modern Geography, III, 
167-174, contains a brief account of the revenues of New Spain, taken 
from El Viagero Universal, vols. 26, 27, Madrid, 1799. See also Alaman, 
Historia de Mejico, I, 85-99. 



The general visitation, as employed by the Spaniards, pre- 
sents a phase of governmental administration which is unfamiliar 
to students of Anglo-Saxon institutions. It is essential, if a 
proper understanding of the work of Jose de Galvez in New 
Spain is to be reached, to show by an historical treatment what 
the visitation was. The present chapter attempts to trace this 
institution from its earliest ascertainable origin, and to give 
some account of the various kinds of visitors and visitations 
known to Spanish law. Following this development, some of the 
best known visitations of New Spain are studied, not for the 
purpose of giving an account of what was actually accomplished 
by them, but to show what it was intended that they should 
accomplish and what the functions of the visitors were. Hence 
more attention is paid to the instructions issued to the visitors 
than to the account of their missions. A resume is made of the 
laws of the Indies governing general visitations ; the instructions 
given to Galvez are reviewed in brief, and a discussion which 
took place between Galvez and Velarde, fiscal of the audiencia 
of Mexico, concerning the powers of visitors, is presented to show 
what legally trained men of the eighteenth century considered 
to be the essential character of the general visitation. 1 

1 The principal authorities consulted for this study are, first, A. X. Perez 
y Lopez, Teatro de Legislation Universal de Espana e Indias por Orden 
Cronologico de sus Cuerpos y Becisiones no Becopiladas ; second, the Cedulario 
by Vasco de Puga, of which the title is Provisiones, Cedulas, Instruction es 
de Su Magestad . . . para la Administration y Govemacion de esta Nueva 
Espana . . . desde el Ano 1525 Jiasta . . . 1563 (Mexico, 1563), reprint, 
2 v., Mexico, 1878; third, the Leyes de Becopilacion (Madrid, 1772), often 
called the Nueva Becopilacion, the predecessor of the Novisima Becopilacion ; 
fourth, the Becopilacion de las Leyes de los Beinos de las Indias (5 ed., 
Madrid, 1841); fifth, Juan Solorzano y Pereya, Politica Indiana; sixth, 
Bancroft, History of Mexico. The manuscript material includes the instruc- 

84 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

1. Origins and analogies. -J-The visitation assumed a number 
^ of forms, but was intended in all cases to be the special means 
of enforcing existing regulations, whether of commerce, real 
hacienda, ecclesiastical affairs, or matters of justice. It was the 
means by which the monarchs attempted to turn an all-seeing 
eye, through the use of a direct personal representative, upon all 
affairs which affected the welfare of the state. A visitation of 
any phase of administration might be either general or partic- 
ular, the former having to do with broad measures of investi- 
gation and reform, over wide areas and interests, the latter con- 
cerning itself with specific problems in definite localities. The 
visitation was always intended to be the means of discovering 
how the machinery of government was working, how to provide 
for the punishment of delinquent officials, and reform of evil 
practices. It was a check upon the operation of administrative 
law. It is to be distinguished from the pesquisa, which was an 
investigation of the violation of law by persons not necessarily 
officials, an inquiry into the violation of criminal law. It was, 
ih fact, similar to the residencia, which was a method of holding 
officers who had served a definite term responsible for their official 
acts. The visitation was usually directed against acts of perma- 
nent officials. In the histories the terms visit ador, pesquisidor, 
and juez de residencia are often used interchangeably. An effort 
will be made to distinguish between them as the narrative 

The principle of the visitation had its beginning in a remote 
period. Central authority, as far back as ancient Egypt and 
Persia, had its "royal secretary," or its "eye of the king," for 
the local enforcement of justice and the collection of taxes in 
semi-autonomous districts. The pads assertores of the Visigothic 

tions of several visitors-general, taken from the Acuerdo y papeles tocantes 
a la visita de Nueva Espana (1605), 136-6-12, and the Eespuesta fiscal sobre 
las facultades del visitador Joseph de Galvez (1765, 88-5-21), by Jose An- 
tonio Velarde, fiscal of the audiencia of Mexico under Cruillas. 

The Episcopal Visitation 85 

kings in Spain, and their bishops, and in later days, the missi 
dominici of Charlemagne, or the "deputies on commission" of 
the French Revolution, exhibit some of the characteristics of the 
Spanish visitors. 2 The Christian church, as might be expected 
from its type of organization, very early developed throughout 
Europe the system of episcopal visitation which in Spain became 
the prototype of the civil visitation. By the time of the Council 
of Laodicea (between a.d. 343 and 381) the visitation was an 
established practice in the Greek Church. The periodeutes, in 
the name of the bishops, annually visited the churches as in- 
spectors. In the Roman Church it became the practice, during 
the Middle Ages, for the bishops to delegate the visitation to 
presbyters, diakons, and decanos. Owing to constant neglect on 
the part of the bishops, the powers of these lesser officers tended 
to become fixed and established by custom; but the reforms of 
the Council of Trent (1545-1563) obliged the bishops, primates, 
and metropolitans to perform their visitations in person, unless 
in case of necessity they might delegate vicars-general for the 
duty. Provisions for episcopal visitations were made by church 
councils of the time of Pope Paul III and, still later, of that of 
Pius IV. The powers and privileges of ecclesiastical visitors are 
set forth in the reformatory provisions of the Council of Trent. 3 
The purpose of the episcopal visitation was mild compared 
to that which developed as the purpose of the civil visitation. 
It was the duty of the bishop to confirm orthodox teachings, 
expel heresy, and, in general, to concern himself with affairs of 
such nature as did not require minute examination. His visi- 
tation was not ordered according to judicial formulas ; but he 
was, by brief examination of abuses, to "make correction rather 

2 The early French intendant de justice possessed characteristics re- 
markably similar to those of the Spanish visit ador- general (see G. Hano- 
taux, Origines de V 'Institution des Intendants des Provinces d'apres les 
Documents Inedits, Paris, 1884). 

3 Concilio Tridentino, cap. 8, ses. 7, 21; cap. 3, dec. 2, ses. 24, et cap. 9, 
reproduced in Perez y Lopez, Teatro, XXVIII, 584-8. 

86 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

than to impose ordinary punishments." Appeal from his judg- 
ments did not, however, stay execution thereof. 4 

In the civil administration of justice the visitor appears in 
the Spanish system under various designations. Alonzo XI in 
1345 replied to the petition of the Cortes of Alcala as follows: 

As to the petition that the alcaldes veedores whom we now command to 
be placed in the cities, towns, and villages of our kingdoms for the purpose 
of inspecting acts of justice and criminal suits are so sent in violation of 
rights (fueros) and privileges ... we reply . . . that it is done on account 
of the great disorder which had existed until now, and this has moved us to 
send these alcaldes. 

In the Cortes of Burgos of the same year the municipal ad- 
vocates {procur adores) complained of injuries caused by emen- 
dators {emendadores) who were sent to the towns to investigate 
the administration of justice. Local justice, it should be stated, 
was in the hands of adelantados (governors), merinos (judges of 
the sheep-walks), and alcaldes (municipal judges), who were 
usually either hereditary or locally elective office-holders, hence 
not closely under the supervision of the king except through 
special delegates such as the alcaldes veedores or the emendadores 
mentioned above. In Petition VIII of the Cortes of Leon of 1349 
is recorded the desire of the procnradores that judges paid by the 
king {jueces de salario) should not be sent out unless the munic- 
ipal councils requested them. In Petition III of the Cortes of 
Burgos of 1373 Enrique II proposed that upon request of 
local councils itinerant judges {jueces de fuera) should be sent 
out. Juan I in 1388 deputed "men," without other official 
designation, to go through the cities to find out how the adelan- 
tados, merinos, alcaldes, and other judges fulfilled their duties. 
These men were to punish all delinquent officials, and other 
criminals as well. At the end of the year they were to return 

4 D. Cavallario, Instituciones del Derecho Canonico, Nueva traduccion por 
Jose Antonio de Ojea (3 v., Madrid, 1843), I, 122-4. 

Early Crown Representatives 87 

to the king to render an account of their work. 5 These officers 
were styled veedores or visitadores. 

In Petition XI of the Cortes of Zamora, 1432, in the reign of 
Juan II, it is said of the corregidores (Latin, corrector), the title 
by which the royal justices were then called, that "if the town 
was in bad state when they came, worse was it when they went. ' ' 
The Cortes of Madrigal, 1476, renewed its petition that corregi- 
dores should not be sent out unless asked for, nor should they 
hold office for more than one year, for they were prone to make 
alliances in the towns to which they were sent. The Catholic 
Monarchs replied to this request that "enough was already 
provided by the laws of these kingdoms." In 1480 the joint 
rulers sent out pesquisidores to watch the corregidores; the office 
of veedor was established, the holder being commissioned to watch 
the administration of justice, see that towers and fortresses were 
built, that the peace was kept in the towns, and that the munic- 
ipal revenues were collected. 6 

The visitor, then, as an habitual agent of the crown, was a 
product of and an actor in the long process by which the power 
of the monarch was established, throughout a gradually widening 
kingdom, over the local authorities. At a very early stage the 
adelantados were sent out to counteract the influence of the 
haughty nobility, the counts and the dukes. The merinos, going 
out as crown appointees, became in time, with the adelantados, 
fixed to the locality ; hence their sympathies were with the people 
as opposed to the crown. With the growth in importance of the 
third estate (estado llano), the crown was obliged to extend its 
powers. This was done by sending out officers from the court 
upon special missions of justice. Such officers were known first 
as jueces de salario or de fuera, then as veedores or visitadores, 

s Leyes de Recopilacion, lib. 3, tit. 8, ley 1; Perez y Lopez, XXVIII, 429; 
Danvila y Collado, El Voder Civil en Espana (Madrid, 1885-86), I, 470. 

e Leyes de Becopilacion, lib. 3, tit. 8, ley 2; Danvila y Collado, I, 424, 
472-3; Perez y Lopez, XXVIII, 430. 


88 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

and later as corregidores. But the corregidores became in turn 
permanent officers, fixed to the district or province, and were 
henceforth to be regulated by the pesquisidores and veedores. 
The corregidores were themselves required to make regular 
rounds of their districts on administrative and judicial errands. 
Such a reconstruction of the process of development is of 
course generalized. There were, in fact, pesquisidores in the 
twelfth century, 7 though the investigating representatives of the 
kings were not habitually sent out until the time of Ferdinand 
and Isabella. The visitors were usually resisted by the local 
governments and courts, and it was not without protest, as has 
been seen, that centralization was effected through their work. 
The visitor and the juez pesquisidor were officers with very sim- 
ilar functions, but there was a distinction. A pesquisidor was a 
judge commissioned for the investigation of crime. His errand 
{pesquisa) was either general or particular. If the former, the 
inquiry was concerned with all crimes that were known to have 
been committed. The particular pesquisa was directed against 
a particular crime or criminal. The general pesquisa, executed 
under royal commission only, was conducted without the knowl- 
edge of the persons under investigation. The particular pesquisa 
took the form of a judicial trial, in which the accused answered 
the charges brought, with privilege of transfer of the proceed- 
ings, which were in all cases brief and summary. 8 It was not 
the practice to send out pesquisidores except when ordinary jus- 
tices were remiss or negligent in punishing crime, or when it was 
suspected that, owing to the strength or influence of the delin- 

? Altamira, Historia de Espana, II, 42, 44, 52. 

s Perez y Lopez, XXIII, 2. Francisco de Bobadilla, sent to Espanola 
in 1500 to enquire into the troubles of the colonists under Columbus, was 
commissioned a pesquisidor, and his errand was a true pesquisa, since he 
was to act in cases "in which specific charges had been preferred; he was 
in addition commissioned to act as governor, a function often bestowed 
upon visitors. The visita and the pesquisa here approach identity very 
closely. See Herrera, Historia General de los Hechos de los Casiellanos en 
las Islas i Tierra Firme (Madrid, 1601-15), dec. 1, lib. 4, caps. 8, 9, 10. 

Churchmen as Visitors 89 

quents, or to the gravity of the crimes, the local judiciary would 
not have the independence or sagacity necessary for making the 
investigation and punishing the offenders. 9 

The visitor, on the other hand, was an investigator of theU^ 
conditions under which the laws were enforced ; he was an in- 
spector of administrative and judicial officers, and not of indi- 
viduals as individuals. He was more concerned with the en- 
forcement of administrative than of criminal law. The indis- 
criminate interchange of the terms visitador and pesquisidor by 
writers is no doubt due to the similarity of the modes of procedure 
employed by both, or to the accident that one and the same man 
may have held commissions which empowered him to act in both 
capacities. The secret investigation by a visitor of a suspected 
official, before trial, was known as a pesquisa. 

2. The general visitation established. — It s was stated above 
that Ferdinand and Isabella began the regular visitation of the 
courts of justice. Once begun, the practice was continued by 
their successors. Under the regency of Ferdinand, numerous 
ordinances governing visitations were promulgated by royal de- 
cree (not by the cortes). 10 During the closing years of the fif- 
teenth century, and particularly during the early ones of the 
sixteenth, the capitulos de visit a (regulations developing during 
visitation) resulted in a large amount of legislation governing 
the audiencias and other courts. Thus the visitation was in an- 
other way a potent agent of the centralizing process which char- 
acterized Spanish administration. 11 In 1515 a general visitation 
of the courts was performed by Juan Tavera. Charles I (V) 
ordered that this duty should be performed by prelates, men of 

9 J. Escriche, Diccionario Bazonado de Legislation y Jurisprudencia 
(Madrid, 1847), at the word pesquisidor es ; Novisima Becopilacion, lib. 12, 
tit. xxxiv, de las pesquisas y sumarias, reproduced in Eodriguez de San 
Miguel, Nos. 4605-4615. 

io Danvila j Collado, I, 635. 

ii For the legislation which resulted from the visitation consult Danvila 
y Collado, V, 717-18; VI, 140. 

90 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

wisdom and virtue. Use of churchmen for the visitation — a 
frequent practice — indicates that the system which had been 
evolved by the church in the episcopal visitation commended 
itself to the Emperor as an efficient method, in which churchmen 
would naturally be most adept. The first royal ordinance by 
which Charles inaugurated this important phase of government 
was that issued at Zaragoza May 20, 1518, by which all inferior 
provincial courts were inspected. The ordinance of Molina del 
Rey, November 13, 1519, made the same provision. In 1525 a 
visitation was made of the audiencia of Valladolid. In 1534 and 
1536 there were published at Madrid ordinances which were the 
result of the visitation of the audiencias by the bishop of Mon- 
donedo. In 1542, as a result of the visitation of the audiencia 
of Valladolid made by Juan de Cordoba, and of that of Granada 
by the bishop of Oviedo, were framed new ordinances for the 
audiencias. In 1554 ordinances for the king's council, and for 
the audiencia of Valladolid, were published as a result of the 
visitation of the audiencia in the same year by Diego de Cordoba. 
The visitation had now attained a very important place in the 
administrative system. 12 

3. Other forms of visitation. — The principle of the visitation 
had as well certain local, specific, and permanent applications. 
Visitation of jails was a weekly duty of certain judges, and visi- 
tation of ships engaged in commerce was a regular part of the 
process of their lading and clearance. 

Ferdinand and Isabella in 1480 ordered visitations of prisons 
every Saturday by two members of the municipal councils and 
the alcaldes. They were sent "to execute justice briefly," and 
render reports to the council if required. In 1489 the same 
rulers provided, upon the occasion of a visitation performed by 
Francisco Mendoza, that two oidores should perform this weekly 
visitation in the prisons of the audiencias and of the towns. The 

12 Danvila y Collado, II, 205. 

Visitation of Prisons 91 

jail officials were to be present to answer any complaint which 
might be made against them. Charles and Juana in 1518 or- 
dered that the alcaldes should, at the time of the weekly visita- 
tion, render an account to the council of the prisoners received 
during the week, their crimes and sentences. In 1536, as a result 
of general visitations by Juan Tavera and Pedro Pacheco, the 
president and oidores of the council were required to be present 
at visitations. They were forbidden to ask in any way for the 
release of prisoners, but were expected to observe how all were 
treated, with especial care for those who were poor. A number 
of similar laws were added to the Recopilacion during the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries. They make clear that the 
purpose of the weekly visitation of prisons was a formal inspec- 
tion, intended to correct miscarriage of justice and to enforce 
proper treatment of the prison inmates. s 

After the middle of the sixteenth century, and before the end 
of the seventeenth, a score of the laws of the Indies provided for 
the visitation of prisons in America. Where there were audi- 
encias visitations were to be made by two oidores, the fiscal, the 
alcaldes ordinarios, alguaciles, and escrihanos. If there were 
alcaldes del crimen, they were to attend as well. On the three 
great church feasts of the year — Christmas, Easter, and Pente- 
cost — the entire audiencia was required to perform the visitation 
of its prisons. Similar of course to those of old Spain, the visi- 
tations of jails of the Indies seem to have been more definitely 
directed to the review of the legal processes of prisoners than 
to the matter of humane treatment. Special regulations were, 
however, given for the treatment of Indians imprisoned for debt 
or drunkenness, provision being made for them to work out their 
debts by services to their creditors alone, and to no one else, that 
they might not be reduced to slavery. 13 

is Leyes de Becopilacion, lib, 2, tit. 9; Becopilacion de Indias, lib. 7, tit. 
7, 17 leyes and 3 leyes dispersas, reproduced in Perez y Lopez, XXVIII, 558- 
568. In Mexico City, says Villaroel, this visitation had become a mere for- 

92 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

Visitation of the district of the audiencia was supposed to be 
performed by the oidores in turn, commissioned by the viceroy, 
in the interest of the Indians and the affairs of the crown, espe- 
cially of revenues. Such visitations often went by default. 14 

Visitation of the treasury was to be performed at the begin- 
ning of every year by the entire audiencia where there was one. 
In the subtreasuries such visitations were performed by the 
oidores, or by the governors or corregidores. Sometimes even 
viceroys were commissioned to perform visitations. Oidores were 
often sent out of their own district into other jurisdictions as 
visitors, jueces de residencia, or pesquisidores. 

Visitation of vessels engaged in the colonial trade from Seville 
and Cadiz, and of ships of war, was performed by inspectors 
called visitadores, officers who were lower in rank than the jueces 
oficiales of the Casa de Contratacion, but who were entitled to 
sit with those magistrates when called into the tribunal for con- 
sultation. These visitors were not magistrates, but experts in 
the repair and lading of vessels. They had begun to exercise 
their duties in the Casa de Contratacion before 1518, and con- 
tinued until suppressed by the orders of 1765 and 1778, the first 
of which conceded "free" commerce to the Windward Islands, 
and the second of which opened the American trade with few 
exceptions. After 1778 the inspection of ships was intrusted to 
the consular agent, called the juez de arribadas. 15 

Enough has been said to show that in the Spanish system the 
visitation was very early an institution upon which great de- 

mality, in which the oidores left the release of prisoners entirely to the 
discretion of the escribanos, whose unfairness to criminals was notorious 
(Enfermedades Politicas, 49). 

14 Bancroft, History of Central America, II, 471. 

is On the visitation of vessels consult Becopilacion de Indias, lib. 9, tit. 
35, 74 leyes; Perez y Lopez, XXVIII (Leyes Dispersas) , p. 582-83; Antunez 
y Acevedo, Memorias Historicas, art. Ill, 59-82; Veitia Linage, Norte de 
la Contratacion, lib. 1, cap. 24; Moses, The Establishment of Spanish Rule, 
34-55. In the colonial ports visitation of vessels was performed by the 
governors and treasury officials, and sometimes by the fiscals. 

Instructions to Alonzo de Grado 93 

pendence was placed for the proper execution of the laws and 
faithful administration. For the accomplishment of these pur- 
poses it found its way to America among the first of Spanish 
institutions. Hernan Cortes sent out the first visitor-general 
to correct the injustice which had been done by the officers whom 
he had left in charge at Tenochtitlan when he made his expedi- 
tion to Honduras in 1524. These men had seized the government, 
believing or hoping that Cortes was dead; they had also appro- 
priated estates owned by members of the conqueror's southern 
expedition, and were persecuting Spaniards and natives alike 
for resisting them. 16 

4. The first visitor-general of New Spain. — The instructions 
given to Alonzo de Grado, the visitor chosen by Cortes, are of 
interest as showing what was expected of such an official at that 
early date. That he might have a genuine interest in his work, 
Grado was granted as his wife the widow of Qauahtemotzin, 
a daughter of Moctezuma, who was by inheritance possessor of 
several large encomiendas} 1 

The Lioro de Cabildo of Tenochtitlan, under date of June 28, 
1526, contains Grado 's instructions: 

Confident that you, Alonzo de Grado, a resident of this city of Tenux- 
titan, are a person who will well, faithfully, and diligently perform and 
fulfill that which I may commit and confide to you in the name of their 
Majesties, I name and make you my judge and visitor-general of all this 
New Spain, in order that, as such judge-visitor, you may in your own 
right bear the staff and insignia of justice, and go to all the cities, villas, 
towns, farms, and mines, and to all towns and villages of the natives; 
that you may in all forms, ways, and manners possible inquire, learn, and 
make public and secret investigations concerning how and in what form 
and manner the natives have been dealt with and handled in the affairs 
of our holy faith; and how the ordinances and proclamations prescribing 
their good treatment have been observed and fulfilled. Against such 
person or persons as you may find guilty of violating the said ordinances, 
laws, and proclamations of this kingdom, which provide for the good 
treatment of the natives, you will proceed, by virtue of the instruction 

is Bancroft, History of Central America, I, 572-3. 
17 Bancroft, History of Mexico, II, 241-2. 

94 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

signed by my hand, which you have; you will bring civil and criminal 
action against them in the proper form and manner in accordance with 
what is ordered and commanded; you will take upon yourself all processes 
and causes, whether civil or criminal, which are brought before any 
judges, justices, lieutenants, or alcaldes mayores, even though such suits 
may have passed to sentence, in order that you may ascertain how justice 
has been conserved to the natives. In all cases you will remove their 
causes of complaint, executing justice according to the nature of the 
case; and if any justices, alcaldes mayores, lieutenants, or other magis- 
trates whatsoever, who may have been, are now, or in future shall be in 
office, have in any way or manner aggrieved or mistreated the vassals 
and natives, you may proceed against them, their persons and estates, in 
conformity with law. 

Moreover, inasmuch as I am informed that many have been made 
slaves without authority or cause, resulting in great injury to God and 
their Majesties, and to the country and its inhabitants; and, what is 
worse, many of these slaves have been taken out of the country, contrary 
to what is commanded and ordered: I give you authority in my name to 
punish these offenses and right the wrongs of the natives. Those who 
have unlawfully been made slaves shall be set free, and you will cause 
them to appear before me, that I may order what is most to the service 
of their Majesties. Against those persons who have taken slaves out of 
the country, notwithstanding they may allege and even show that they 
had license therefor from Gonzalo de Salazar and Peralmindes Chirinos, 
former factor and veedor respectively, or from any other magistrates, you 
shall bring action, punishing them in conformity with proclamations 
which I in the name of their Majesties have made against exportation 
of slaves. 

Moreover, I give you my full power, in case any person or persons of 
whatsoever condition or quality shall make demonstration against you, or 
say what they ought not, during your exercise of your office of visitor- 
general, that you may seize them and send them, with the testimony of 
their offense, to me wherever I may be, so that I may do justice in the 
premises. And it is ordered that all councils, justices, regidores, gentle- 
men (caballeros escuderos) , men of good report, and all others whatsoever, 
in all cities, villas, and towns of this New Spain, shall receive you as my 
visitor-general, obey you, and come at your command and citation under 
the penalties which you in my name and that of their Majesties may 
impose; and any who may refuse I hereby condemn; all persons shall, 
without fail, render you all the favor and aid you may require of them, 
under pain of the loss of their estates to the royal chamber and treasury. 
. . . And I command that this my provision shall be presented and obeyed 
in the cabildo of this city of Tenuxtitan, where from you, Alotfzo de 

The Besidencia of Cortes 95 

Grado, my judge and visitor-general, oath shall be taken as is required 
in such case; and after you have taken the oath and received the office, 
you shall not be required to repeat the ceremony in any other city, villa, 
or town of this New Spain. 

I therefore bestow upon you in the name of their Majesties the said 
office, and confer upon you all my power, as I have it from them . . . and 
I command that your salary and fees shall be paid, and that you shall 
have all the liberties and privileges due you as visitor, and that you may 
take with you clerks and bailiffs for your court, whom I name . . . and 
that you and they shall receive the same fees as other magistrates, ac- 
cording to the schedule established . . . and I command that all officials 
shall perform their duties toward you, under penalty of loss of position 
and of all their goods. Done in the city of Tenuxtitan, June 27, 1526. 
Hernan Cortes; by order of my lord the governor, Alonzo Baliente. 

When the visitor-general had taken the oath, the record con- 
cludes, "he took a staff of justice, and went out of the cabildo." 

The visitation of Alonzo de Grado must have come to little, 
for in November of 1525 the licenciado Luis Ponce de Leon was 
commissioned by the Emperor to go to New Spain as jnez de 
residencies, his duties being 18 to investigate the conduct of Cortes 
and the other officers of the crown. A number of the cedulas 
given to Ponce have been preserved. He was ordered on No- 
vember 4 to protect the Indians, promote their conversion, and 
favor the conquerors in appointments to office. He was to collect 
information concerning and make a report upon the size of New 
Spain, the location of its towns, and the character of the inhab- 
itants. He was to stop excessive gambling, making ordinances 
to control that pastime. On April 28, 1526, he was instructed 
to assist the Indians who had helped the Spaniards in the con- 
quest. Ponce was expected to replace Cortes, and his orders 
issued near the close of 1526 are directed to "mi juez de resi- 
dencies y gdbernador," but Ponce lived to proclaim only two of 
the orders which he had brought. Death so sudden that Cortes 
was accused of causing it overtook the royal emissary, and Alonzo 

isPuga, CeduJario, I, 63; Bancroft, History of Mexico, II, 238-53. Luis 
Gonzalez Obregon, Los Precursores de la Independencia Mexicana en el Siglo 
XVI (Paris and Mexico, 1906), 89-107. 


96 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

de Estrada succeeded to the governorship, and Marcos de Aguilar 
to the office of justicia mayor. Before he could take the resi- 
dencia, he, too, was called by death, and not long thereafter 
Cortes and his principal officers returned to Spain. Their resi- 
dencias were taken by the first audiencia, over which presided 
the implacable enemy of Cortes, Nufio de Guzman. This audi- 
encia was also charged to complete the general investigations 
which had been intrusted to Ponce. For its guidance it was 
given a set of ordinances, which served as the basis for future 
legislation for the colonies, gradually developing into the code 
known as the Recopilacion de Indias. 19 

The interest of the present study in the vicissitudes of Cortes 
in New Spain centers in the fact that his powers as captain- 
general, or rather as governor, were brought to an end by the 
residencia, and that this process came, not at the end of a speci- 
fied term, but at the will of the monarch. The chief distinction 
between this residencia and a visitation lay in the lack of secrecy 
with which the process was conducted. It is sufficiently indi- 
cated that the visitation and the residencia followed swiftly upon 
the heels of the establishment of Spanish power on the new con- 
tinent. They continued thereafter to be the means, along with 
the audiencias, by which the rulers of Spain checked the conduct 
of colonial officers of justice, administration, and finance. 

As the residencia was held at the close of an official term, it 
took place only in the case of those offices which were held for 
a definite term, or upon the promotion or death of those who 
held life tenures. The visitation, on the other hand, might come 

is For the legislation covering the Cortes episode and the establishment 
of the first audiencia see Puga, Cedulario, I, 12-154. For the residencia of 
Cortes see Sir Arthur Helps, The Spanish Conquest in America (London, 
1900-04), III, 102-123, and Gonzalez Obregon, 72-87. The documentary 
records of the process are published in Sumaria de la residencia tomada 
a D. Fernando Cortes, Archivo Mexicano. Documentos para la Historia de 
Mexico, I, Mexico, 1852; Continuacion, II, Mexico, 1853. Further material 
appears in Cartas de Herndn Cortes . . . ilustradas por el P. Mariano Cuevas, 
Seville, 1915. 

Visitation and Residencia Compared 97 

at any time during the incumbency of a term officer, or it might 
be a general visitation, directed against all term officers of cer- 
tain classes of employment. It was most likely to be invoked as 
a corrective measure when there were sinister reports to the home 
government concerning the conduct of officials. It was ordered 
only by the Council of the Indies, in accord with the king, 20 and 
was considered to be a more serious and strict inquiry than the 
residencia, for the reason that the process was secret, without any 
citation to the person visited ; nor was any copy of the testimony 
against him, nor even the names of witnesses, furnished to the 
officer under trial. Evidence was gathered in summary infor- 
mations; the visitor did not render a decision upon the charges 
which he brought as a result of his investigation, but, after re- 
ceiving a general defense from the accused officers, who merely 
knew in a general way what the accusations against them were, 
he sent the report of the case to the Council of the Indies, which 
passed sentence once for all, without right of appeal or other 
recourse by the officials visited. The latter might be, during the 
process, dispossessed of their employment by removal or sus- 
pension without pay during the interval, even in the case of 
purchased offices for which the incumbents had invested their 

20 Eecopilacion, lib. 2, tit. 34, ley 1. Sir Arthur Helps, in an interesting 
chapter on the ll Meaning of the word residencia," has brought together 
from the early Spanish authorities many valuable facts concerning the 
origin and use of that process. Helps errs, however, in calling the 
residencia a process of impeachment. An impeachment implies greater 
assumption of guilt in our minds than did the residencia under Spanish 
law. The latter process was looked forward to by the colonial office- 
holder as the normal conclusion to his term, but under English or American 
public law impeachment is never contemplated by an officer entering upon 
the righteous discharge of his duties. Helps does not distinguish between 
the residencia and the visitation, as when, in quoting Herrera, Historia 
General, dec. 5, lib. 5, cap. 5, he attributes the statement of the latter, 
' ' Cuyo remedio el Rey Catolico D. Fernando V. traxo de Aragon, ' ' to the 
residencia, when it is applied by Herrera unmistakably to the visitation. 
Further indistinctness arises from Helps' citations from Solorzano, which 
are applied indiscriminately to the residencia when the word visita is 
actually quoted in the citations (The Spanish Conquest in America, III. 
148-158). See below, note 42. 




98 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

entire substance. The reason for secrecy of the process was that 
an official, if he should come off free from the visitation, would 
be likely to wreak vengeance upon those who had had the tem- 
erity to testify against him, could he find out who they were. 
Such a precaution was unnecessary in the case of the residencia, 
for this process assumed that in any case the term under investi- 
gation was completed, and the official ready to be retired or 
promoted. 21 

Spanish jurisconsults were not united in their opinions of 
the visitation, some of them inclining to praise it as a most de- 
sirable means of preventing corruption, while others considered 
that it was a violation of the personal rights of a vassal to sub- 
ject him to a legal process in which he was deprived of the 
power to defend himself. 22 Whatever the abstract justice of 
the institution, it was the purpose of the monarchs that it should 
upon needed occasion restore the machinery of government to 
its proper mode of operation, and purge courts of justice from 
all taint of abuse. This purpose is illustrated in the instructions 
given to Antonio de la Gama, the juez de residencia sent in 1528 
to the island of Porto Rico and to Castilla del Oro, and in the in- 
structions of Gil Gonzales Davila, the visitor sent to the audiencia 
of Santo Domingo, in 1533. 23 

The two chief groups of colonial officers who were subject to 
the visitation were those of the courts of justice and those 
of real hacienda ; only very infrequently, if ever, were govern- 
ors of provinces, alcaldes, or municipal officials subjected to it. 
The practice was to commission visitors to investigate both 
groups, though sometimes only one of them was investigated at 

2i Bancroft, History of Central America, I, 250-1, note 2, gives a sum- 
mary review of the residencia from its inception in Santo Domingo, where 
it was invoked against Francisco de Bobadilla, to its suppression in 1799 
as far as minor officers were concerned. 

22 Solorzano, II, 345. 

23 Herrera, Historia General, decada 4, lib. 5, cap. 3; decada 5, lib. 5, 
cap. 5. 

Francisco Tello de Sandoval 99 

a time. In addition to their powers as visitors, these officers 
frequently bore other commissions intended to enhance their 
authority or to economize in expense of sending out crown repre- 
sentatives, but these special duties often resulted in diffusion of 
energy and defeat of the main purpose of the visitation. How 
the plan worked in practice can be best demonstrated by pre- 
senting a brief account of the principal visitations of New 
Spain. 24 

5. Historical view of visitations of New Spain. — In 1543 
Charles I and Juana sent the licenciado Francisco Tello de 
Sandoval, a member of the Council of the Indies, to New Spain 
to conduct a general visitation. This was the occasion, it will 
be remembered, when the sovereigns vainly attempted to amelio- 
rate the condition of the Indians and improve the administration 
of the colony by inauguration of the famous "New Laws." 25 
The Provision de visita carried by Sandoval authorized him to 
investigate the conduct of the viceroy (Mendoza), of the 
audiencia, and of each of its members and subordinates. All 
magistrates, contadores, factores, veedores, and any other officers 
of real hacienda, were to be subjected to the same inquiry. 
Especial emphasis was placed on provisions for the protection 
and conversion of the Indians, and for the prompt despatch of 
business and justice, and for the collection of mining duties and 
tributes. If crown officers had been remiss in any of their 
duties, or if they had demanded excessive fees for their services, 
the visitor was to make formal charge against them. The accused 
were then to offer their defense, upon which the most definite 

24 For a brief account of a visitation of administrative, treasury, and 
church affairs in Guatemala in 1535 see Bancroft, History of Central 
America, II, 131-2; Garcia Icazbalceta, Coleccion de Documentos para la 
Eistoria de Mexico (Mexico, 1858-66), II, xxviii-xxx. 

25 This legislation appears in Icazbalceta, Coleccion de Documentos, II, 
204-227. An issue of 88 copies of Henry Stevens' and F. W. Lucas' trans- 
lation, with an historical introduction, appeared at London in 1893. Of 
this issue No. 67 is in the library of the University of California. 

100 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

findings possible were to be made by the visitor, and remitted, 
with all records of the process, to the Council of the Indies for 
final judgment. All officers whatsoever were to render the visitor 
such assistance as he might require, and heed his summons to 
appear when and where he might request, on pain of condemna- 
tion as rebels. The Provision concludes with the grant of the 
entire royal power for the discharge of the duties intrusted. 26 
In addition to the powers and duties recited here, Sandoval was 
authorized to sit with the audiencia, and to vote with its mem- 
bers in affairs both of government and justice. 27 Power of voting 
with the audiencia was not enjoyed by all succeeding visitors, 
though they usually had the privilege of sitting with that court, 
refraining from voting in affairs which were the concern of the 
oidores. In addition to his inspection of the audiencia and' 
viceroy and the general administration of justice, Sandoval was 
to find out the number of churches which had been built and 
whether their number was adequate. He was to see whether the 
priests discharged their duties, and whatever he saw ought to 
be done, in ecclesiastical and temporal affairs alike, that he was 
to order and see executed. This power was granted without the 
obligation to act in accord with the viceroy, and was by so much a 
more important commission than those conceded to many of the 
later visitors. 28 

26 "E para todo lo que dicho es vos demos poder cumplido con todas 
sus incidencias e dependencias anexidades y conexidades" (Puga, Cedulario, 

I, 305-7). This phrase, common to the royal instructions of the period, 
was also used in the instructions which Cortes gave to Alonzo de Grado 
in 1526, quoted in part above (see pp. 93-95). 

27 Puga, Cedulario, Eeal Orden, June 26, 1543, II, p. 448. 

28 In this visitation the policy of non-interference with the officer 
being secretly investigated was not adhered to, nor were the names of 
witnesses kept secret (Solorzano, lib. v. cap. x; cf. Bancroft, History of 
Central America, II, 131). The method employed in the visitation of 
Mendoza is shown in the Interrogatorio por el cual han de ser examinados 
los testigos que presente por su parte D. Antonio de Mendoza, printed as a 
Fragmento de la visita hecha ... in Icazbalceta, Coleccion de Bocumentos, 

II, 72-140. 

A Bootless Errand 101 

In addition to these full powers from the sovereigns, Sandoval 
was also commissioned inquisitor of New Spain by Cardinal 
Juan de Tavera, inquisitor-general of all the Spanish dominions. 
Sandoval was already canon (canonigo) of the church of Seville 
and inquisitor of the bishopric of Toledo. By his instructions 
from Tavera, he was given power to inquire "against all per- 
sons, men or women, living or dead, absent or present, of what- 
ever condition, ' ' or their agents, for heresy or apostacy. He was 
authorized to castigate or incarcerate offenders against the faith, 
or, if it seemed just, to deliver them over to the secular justice. 
In the exercise of these powers he was to continue until they 
w T ere revoked by the Cardinal. 29 

Sandoval reached Mexico March 8, 1544, and proclaimed the 
"New Laws" on March 24; churchmen and lay encomenderos 
joined in protest against the royal policy which would deprive 
them of their encomiendas, and succeeded in having the execu- 
tion of the royal orders postponed. Neither the visitor nor the 
viceroy felt strong enough to combat the determination of the 
colonists to continue the exploitation of the natives. The visita- 
tion therefore caused little change in the viceroyalty, and pro- 
duced less benefit. Even in the exercise of his ecclesiastical func- 
tions, Sandoval did little beyond convoking the bishops for the 
purpose of deciding what ought to be done for the spiritual needs 
of the people. This convocation attempted to discuss the affairs 
of the Indians and the encomenderos, but was forbidden to do so 
I>y the viceroy, who held such a subject to be an affair of the 
state, and not of the church. With almost nothing accomplished, 
Sandoval returned to Spain after a sojourn in the viceroyalty of 
approximately three years. 30 

In 1549, in pursuance of the royal determination to enforce 
the suppression of the encomiendas, it was deemed necessary to 

29Puga, II, 452-3. 

so Bancroft, History of Mexico, II, 527. 

102 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

send a visitor to Yucatan and Cozumel. For this and other pur- 
poses, the licenciado Santillan of the audiencia of Mexico was 
chosen and commissioned by royal authority. The letter of the 
Queen to Mendoza concerning this visitation is of interest as 
showing the close similarity between the functions of the juez 
de residencia and those of the visitor : 

And since, as you know [the letter reads], we sent to Yucatan and 
Cozumel as juez de residencia the licenciado Herrera, our oidor of that 
audiencia [Mexico], and it may be that he has taken cognizance of some 
of those things which we commited to . . . Santillan, the latter should 
not take action concerning matters of which Herrera took cognizance. 
. . . And if it appears to you that it is not necessary (after Herrera 's 
work) to send Santillan, you will so advise me. If he is to go, you will 
give orders that he is to do so with all secrecy, and let it not be pub- 
lished for what purpose he is going, but let it be given out that he goes 
only to take away the Indians from the encomienda of the adelantado, and 
to assess tributes. 31 

In the instructions of Santillan appears for the first time the 
provision that the visitor was to receive his salary from court 
fines {penas de cdmara) assessed by himself. This provision be- 
came an ordinary feature of subsequent instructions. Insuffi- 
ciency of the fines to meet the requirement was to be overcome 
by drawing upon real hacienda. It is to be observed in passing, 
that this visitation, while it was performed by an oidor, was not 
one of the ordinary visitations of an oidor under the provisions 
of the ordinance of the audiencia, but was a special commission 
from the Queen. 

In 1552 the licenciados Lebron de Quinones and Contreras, 
oidor es alcaldes may ores of the audiencia of Guadalajara, were 
making a visitation of the kingdom of New Spain (not of Nueva 
Galicia — their province), under royal orders. They had also 
instructions from the viceroy to enforce the "New Laws." It 
appeared to the oidores of the audiencia of Mexico that the visit- 

si Puga, IT, 36. 

Quinones, Contreras, and Valderrama 103 

ing officers ought not to have power so great as to permit them to 
free slaves, to moderate tributes, or to stop the "personal serv- 
ice" demanded of the Indians, without first informing the 
audiencia of Mexico, so that it might determine how these 
things should be done. Prince Ferdinand, deciding this conflict 
of authority, ordered that the audiencia should not place any 
impediment in the way of the visitors save by way of appeal, 
which must not act as a stay of execution of their orders. 32 The 
principle of the exemption of visitors from interference by the 
audiencia was maintained as a feature of the later judicial 

Again in 1563 was a visitor, Valderrama, sent to New Spain. 
This visitation was concerned both with real hacienda — the 
revenues being inadequate to the needs of Philip II — and the 
courts of justice. The audiencia was to be warned by the visitor 
to obey the royal decree forbidding their notorious practice of 
engaging in expeditions of discovery or in merchandising. Two 
of the oidores, Villanueva and Puga, the latter the author of the 
Cedulario frequently cited in this chapter, 33 were deprived of 
their positions and deported to Spain for alleged irregularities. 
Among other measures taken by Valderrama was that of doub- 
ling the tribute to two pesos. More accurate enumeration of 
the Indians was ordered, that the tribute might be more efficient- 
ly collected ; a number of additional alcaldes were to be ap- 
pointed, and recommendations were made that the term of the 
viceroy and that of the audiencia members should be limited, 
and that the presidency of the audiencia should be held by a 
jurisconsult and not by the viceroy. Valderrama severely criti- 
cised the viceroy, the first Velasco, alleging that he was incom- 

32 Cedilla of August 28, 1552, Puga, II, 178-182. 

33 A notice of Puga and the Cedulario is given in the introduction to 
the edition here cited, and in the Bibliografia Mexicana del Siglo XVI, 
Primera Parte (Mexico, 1886), 124-8. Both works were edited by Joaquin 
Garcia Icazbalceta. See also Antequera, Historia de la Legislation Espanola, 

104 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

petent. The viceroy, on the other hand, was deeply incensed 
at what he considered the visitor's officiousness in reform meas- 
ures. Upon the death of Velasco (July 31, 1564), Valderrama 
urged again that the succeeding viceroy should not be made 
president of the audiencia. The ayuntamiento of Mexico took 
the initiative in suggesting to the court at Madrid even more 
radical departures in government. That body petitioned to 
have Valderrama appointed governor, and to have the young 
Marques del Valle Martin Cortes, made captain-general. The 
desire was expressed that there should be no more viceroys sent 
out, with their armies of dependents and relatives, to exhaust the 
land by their extravagant expenditures. 

The viceroy being dead, and the audiencia being still under 
visitation by Valderrama, the latter was practically in charge of 
the government. It is quite surmisable that the ayuntamiento 
of Mexico was well under his influence. His authority he 
strengthened by close intimacy with the young marquis. But 
the period was filled with brawls and bickerings among the 
Spaniards. The royal determination to prohibit perpetuity of 
proprietorship in the encomiendas was the cause of deep discon- 
tent, and a foolish plot was formed to resist the king's orders. 
The Marques del Valle was invited to head the revolt, and was 
later tried for complicity in it. Valderrama, concluding his 
visitation early in 1566, returned to Spain, leaving the audiencia 
in charge of the government. This court began a searching in- 
vestigation of the conspiracy of the encomenderos. Some of the 
plotters were executed, and much ill-will was engendered among 
the colonists, which endured until the coming of the third vice- 
roy, Peralta, who arrived at Vera Cruz on September 17, 1566. 34 

The efficiency of Valderrama 's visitation was shown in an 
appreciable increase in the revenues derived from the tribute. 
His recommendation for shortening the term of the viceroy and 

34 Bancroft, History of Mexico, IT, 584-591, 601-621. 

Muiioz and Carrillo 105 

of the oidores later became the government policy, as did the 
separation of the viceroy from the actual presidency of the 
audiencia, though this latter provision was delayed over two 
hundred years in fulfillment, the regentes being appointed in 

The new viceroy was not long in command when he was 
accused of having entered into the plans of the encomenderos 
for revolt against Spain. Two officials, called indifferently 
jueces pesquisidores and visitadores, Muiioz and Carrillo, had 
been commissioned by Philip II to assume the government, as 
well as to conduct trials of the instigators and participants in 
the revolt, or rather in the plot to revolt. They reached Mexico 
in October, 1567, and proceeded to punish with great cruelty 
those whom they found implicated in the recent disloyalty. 
Muiioz, the elder of the two judges, assumed the leadership. He 
condemned to death six conspirators. The Marques del Valle 
was tortured, but refused to confess complicity. Spanish sub- 
jects in large numbers were imprisoned. So great was public 
consternation at the course of Muiioz that petitions were sent to 
the king, setting forth the distress of the country and the danger 
of widespread revolution if the new royal representative should 
continue to have free rein. In response to these representations, 
the king commissioned Villanueva and Puga, the ex-oidores who 
had been expelled by Valderrama, to return to New Spain and 
depose the pesquisidores. Peralta, the deposed viceroy, was sent 
to Spain in compan}^ with Muiioz and Carrillo. The latter died 
at sea, and Muiioz, having been discredited by the testimony of 
Peralta, was disgraced by the King, and survived his colleague 
but a very short time. The audiencia of Mexico reassumed con- 
trol of the government upon the arrival of Villanueva and Puga. 
In November, 1568, the fourth viceroy, Enriquez de Almanza, 
succeeded the audiencia. 

The visitation, or more properly speaking, the pesquisa. of 

¥ # 

106 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

Muiioz is the most notorious example of abuse of power in the 
hands of a secret investigator in the history of New Spain. 35 The 
conspiracy which he punished is not thought by the writers just 
cited to have been as dangerous as he conceived it to be, and his 
treatment of the Spaniards involved in it is condemned by them. 
On the other hand, Genaro Garcia says that this uprising evi- 
dently had for its purpose the casting off of allegiance to Spain, 
and was of deeper significance than has usually been attributed 
to it. 3G However this may have been, it is indubitable that the 
kings of Spain during the early years of American conquest had 
great difficulty in making their power felt and obeyed among the 
hardy pioneer conquerors who brought the new continent under 
the Spanish dominion. Contemplated reforms were insistently 
resisted, and serious impediments placed in the way of change 
from the modes of life which grew up in the new land. Habitu- 
ally, the sending out of a visitor-general was the occasion, even 
if it was not the cause, of great complaint in official and com- 
mercial circles as well. 

Suarez de Mendoza, fifth viceroy, in 1582 complained of the 
corruption and greed of his subordinates, and of the wickedness 
and disregard for his authority manifested by the audiencia. He 
requested that as a corrective a visitor be sent from Spain, 
clothed with powers to reform the affairs of the viceroyalty. 
Death removed Suarez in that same year, but his request was 
complied with in the next, when Pedro de Moya y Contreras, 
archbishop of Mexico, was appointed visitor. 37 After making 

ss Bancroft, History of Mexico, II, 625-632, 654; Manuel Orozco y 
Berra, Noticia Historica de la Conjuration del Marques del Valle, Anos de 
1565-1568 (Mexico, 1853), xii, 72, 505. The memory of Mufioz as a cruel 
tyrant is perpetuated in Mexican literature by a three-act drama of 
Ignacio Rodriguez, Murioz, Visitador de Mejico (Mejico, 1838). The life 
of the young marquis appears in A. R. Gonzales, Homores Ilustres Mexicanos 
(Mexico, 1873-4), II, 207-25. For the entire episode see Gonzalez Obregon, 

36 Bocumentos Historicos Mexicanos, Oora Conmemorativa del primer Cen- 
tenario de la Independencia de Mexico (6 v., Mexico, 1910), II, pp. ix, x. 

37 Bancroft, History of Mexico, II, 740. 

Pedro de Moya y Contreras 107 

his investigation of affairs and reporting to the King, Moya re- 
ceived appointment as viceroy. He thus possessed at one and 
the same time the important powers of viceroy, visitor, and arch- 
bishop, a situation similar to that in which Palafox, bishop of 
Puebla, found himself in 1642. It was under Moya that the 
Holy Office of the Inquisition was actually put into operation in 
Mexico, previous inquisitors having held only temporary com- 
missions. Moya became viceroy on September 25, 1584. He 
removed many delinquent officers, and fined others; some were 
hanged. Honest men were placed in positions of responsibility, 
and as a result the collections of real hacienda increased so much 
that Moya was able to send to Spain 300,000 ducats of silver 
and 11,000 marks of gold, whereas previous^ exportations of 
precious metals had been insignificant. But Moya was accused 
of undue severity in his reforms ; charges were preferred against 
him, as a result of which he was in 1586 superseded by Manrique 
de Zuniga, seventh viceroy. Moya reassumed for a time his func- 
tions as visitor, engaging in a conflict with the new viceroy over 
ecclesiastical affairs and the visitation of the oidores. Upon his 
return to Spain, he was made president of the Council of the 
Indies. 38 

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, a situation 
arose which again called for a repetition of the established 
method of secret investigation of the administration of New 
Spain. Montesclaros, tenth viceroy, succeeded Monterey in 1603. 
In 1604 a body of troops was sent from New Spain to the Philip- 
pine Islands. Shortly after the despatch of these troops, an 
anonymous letter was received by the Council of the Indies, in 
which Montesclaros was charged with having appropriated funds 
intended for the equipment of the military expedition. The 
Council deemed the accusation worthy of investigation, and 

Bancroft, History of Mexico, II, 738-42. See below, p. 118. 

108 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

thought the time propitious for a general visitation. For these 
purposes Diego de Landeras y Velasco was sent. He was to 
carry with him all the papers resulting from the previous visi- 
tation by Moya. 39 The acuerdo of the Council concerning the 
visitation to be intrusted to Landeras is brief and unsatisfactory. 
The agreement was that he should receive the commission in the 
same form as had Moya, but the commission of Moya is not with 
the records. On March 26, 1606, the Council voted that Montes- 
claros, in his capacity as president of the audiencia, should be 
subjected to the visitation ; curiously enough, it was decided that 
the king should be kept in ignorance of this decision, lest he 
might interpose objections that such power did not properly be- 
long to a visitor, holding that the chief officer should not be in- 
vestigated until his residencia. It was not until 1624 that the 
vicero}^ as president of the audiencia was made subject to the 
visitation. 40 

In his instructions Landeras was urged to report his findings 
in as short a time as possible, and not to await the return of a 
flota to do so. Like his predecessor Moya, he was to receive his 
salary and expense money from the fines which he might levy, 
and not from the royal treasury. He was to perform a visita- 
tion of the audiencia and of the treasury officials. Concerning 
the official conduct of the viceroy he was to make no written 
report. He was to obtain information on the general state of 
New Spain, investigate the affairs of the city of Mexico, the 
procedure of the probate judges (jueces de oienes de difuntos), 
the condition of the University of Mexico, and of the mint. 
Secrecy in his judicial doings was to be secured by preventing 
officers under investigation from having copies of charges 
brought against them and even from knowing the names of 
their accusers. He was to have a seat in the audiencia, but that 

39 Acuerdo y papeles tocantes a la visita de Mexico, MS 1605, 136-6-12. 

40 See below, p. 122. 

Diego de Landeras y Velasco 109 

court was not to meddle with his visitorial affairs. Whether he 
had a vote with the audiencia is not stated. Final action on 
judgments of the visitor was to rest with the Council. Landeras 
was given letters to the viceroy and to the executive officers of 
the courts (alguaciles) , commanding them to assist him in every 
way possible. The inquisitors of the Holy Office were ordered to 
maintain friendly relations with him. He was given power to 
begin his official investigation while on the way from Vera Cruz 
to Mexico if necessary, before publishing his visitation, though 
the latter formality was the usual preliminary. Notoriously 
guilty officers he might suspend. Investigation was to be made 
of charges which the viceroy had made against the treasurer of 
Vera Cruz. The visitor was provided with suggestions for re- 
form of repartimientos of Indians, and for the increase of the 
revenues of real hacienda. A list was presented to him, con- 
taining descriptions of the abuses which were known to be cus- 
tomary in Mexico, and the names of people there who knew 
about them. Finally, he was provided with a letter written from 
Mexico in 1597 by the bishop of Nueva Granada, containing 
the formal interrogatories which had been made to the ministers 
of the audiencia, with their answers. 41 

Montesclaros suffered little annoyance and less discredit 
from the visitation, for he was promoted to the viceroyalty of 
Peru in 1606. He it is who is credited with the statement that 
"these visitations are comparable to the whirlwinds often seen 
in the public squares and streets, which serve no purpose save to 
stir up dust, straw, and other trash, and scatter them about the 
heads of the people." 42 

41 Acuerdo y papeles tocantes a la visita de Mexico, 136-6-12. Appar- 
ently a visitation of the audiencia had been made in the above mentioned 

42 Solorzano, Politico, Indiana, II, 346. The residencia was as little 
esteemed by the viceroys as the visitation. Cf. Smith, The Viceroy of 
New Spain, 134-5; Bevillagigedo, Instruction Beservada, arts. 140, 864. 

110 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

Landeras sought to facilitate his investigation of irregulari- 
ties by placing a box at the entrance to his house in which secret 
information might be deposited. This was a practice strongly 
condemned by Solorzano, who also found fault with those visi- 
tors who were prone to listen to the swarms of informers who 
were wont to buzz about their ears, hoping to obtain vengeance 
on their personal and official enemies. 43 As a result of the visi- 
tation of Landeras two Mexican officials, an oidor and an alcalde 
de corte, were suspended and sent to Spain. A Jesuit who 
preached a sermon reflecting upon the visitor was arrested and 
sent to Vera Cruz, but managed to avoid being sent on to the 
Peninsula. These suspensions and other rigorous acts caused 
the usual remonstrances to be made against Landeras, and he 
was recalled in 1609. 44 

In 1635, the viceroy Cerralvo having twice requested to be 
relieved of his office, the licenciado Pedro de Quiroga y Moya, 
oidor of the audiencia of Seville, was on May 3 commissioned to 
go to New Spain to conduct Cerralvo 's residencia. Many other 
commissions visitorial in character were intrusted to Quiroga. 
Especially important were his instructions concerning the 
Manila trade. Frauds at Acapulco in the building of vessels as 
well as in smuggling were to be investigated, and the visitor was 
to pass sentence upon the culprits discovered. The governor of 
the Philippines was to be ordered to send sufficient men on the 
galleons to replace losses by death among the crew, and he was 
to make provision for appointment of an admiral during the 
voyage in case the incumbent should die. Trade with the Portu- 
guese was to be prohibited. In Mexico, frauds alleged to have 
been committed in the construction of the Huehuetoca drainage 
canal (begun in 1607) were to be prosecuted. The rich salt 

43 Solorzano, IT, 348. 

44 Bancroft, History of Mexico, III, 7 ; J. Torquemada, Primera Parte de 
los veinte % un Libros Eituales i Nonarchia Indiana (Madrid, 1723), I, 759. 

Juan de Palafox y Mendoza 111 

mines of the Peilol Blanco were to be inspected, and leases of the 
salt revenues were to be made. Certain accusations against 
Cerralvo were to be investigated. The viceroy and other officials 
were ordered to assist Quiroga in all ways possible, and the 
audiencia was forbidden, as were the oficiales reales, to draw 
orders upon any sums collected by the visitor. It does not ap- 
pear that he was ordered to perform a general visitation of the 
courts or of the offices of real hacienda. With him he was per- 
mitted to take an official family of ten assistants and servants, 
and two woman-servants. Upon return from successful com- 
pletion of his commission, he was to have a position in the Coun- 
cil of the Indies, or be made fiscal of hacienda or alcalde de 
corte 45 (civil and criminal judge of Madrid). 

The visitation performed by Juan de Palafox y Mendoza is 
one of the most interesting of the series. Palafox was a member 
of the Council of the Indies, and was consecrated bishop of 
Puebla on December 16, 1639. He reached New Spain in June, 
1640, on the fleet which carried Escalona, seventeenth viceroy. 
He was especially commissioned to take the residencies of the re- 
tiring viceroy, Cadereita, and to reopen that of Cerralvo, against 
whom charges had been renewed. He was also to investigate the 
courts of justice and the offices of real hacienda, referring any 
charges brought against delinquents to the Council of the Indies. 
Commercial relations with Peru and the Philippines were to be 
subjected to his scrutiny. As a safeguard against loss of docu- 
ments in transit to Spain, he was to retain in Mexico copies of 
all his legal processes. No time limit was set upon the visitation, 
but it was to be performed as expeditiously as possible. If fines 
and confiscations did not meet his expenses, he was authorized to 
draw upon the treasury at Mexico for balances due him. 46 

4 5 Acuerdo y papeles tocantes a la visita de Mexico, 136-6-12. 

46 Ibid. 

112 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

Palafox was at first successful, because he was temperate, in 
the exercise of his ecclesiastical and visitorial duties. Litigants 
respected his decisions. His relations with the viceroy were 
harmonious. His course in depriving religious orders of some of 
their missions and erecting them into parishes was upheld by 
the Council of the Indies. 

But Escalona sold offices and pocketed the proceeds. 47 Pala- 
fox remonstrated, and harmony between the two was at an end. 
Other causes of discord followed. Suspicion was cast upon the 
viceroy because of his friendship for his Portuguese cousin, who 
was identified with a revolt then in progress in Brazil. It was 
feared that the viceroy and certain of the Portuguese residents 
of New Spain would prove disloyal. Escalona was deposed, and 
Palafox became viceroy. Simultaneously he was offered the 
archiepiscopacy, but he declined it. For the second time there 
was a viceroy-visitor with high clerical position in New Spain. 
Palafox began his viceroyal functions on June 10, 1642. Esca- 
lona departed for Spain about the close of the year. The bishop 
proved efficient as viceroy, accomplishing many reforms, but he 
was superseded at the end of five months by the Count of Salva- 
tierra. Palafox resumed his interrupted visitations and his see. 48 

During Salvatierra's term Palafox became embroiled with the 
powerful Jesuits, who insisted upon preaching and hearing con- 
fessions without obtaining the prescribed licenses to do so from 
the bishop. At the climax of the quarrel Palafox felt obliged 
to seek retirement, and deserted his post as bishop. When he 
returned from seclusion to Puebla in 1647 he found that he had 
been by royal cedula relieved of his duties as visitor. He re- 

47 Bancroft, History of Mexico, III, 537-8, describes the methods by 
which the viceroys were able to increase their incomes. Arangoyti, who 
conducted the residencia of Cruillas in 1766, speaks of the purchase of 
employments from the viceroys as one of the most insidious forms of 
venality in the colonies (Carta del juez de residencia del virrey marques de 
Cruillas y sentencias dictadas, 90-2-17). 

48 Bancroft, History of Mexico, III, 98-119. 

Pedro de Gdlvez 113 

tained his bishopric, and was ultimately victorious over the 
Jesuits in the matter of licenses. The unfinished visitation was 
confided to Pedro de Galvez, alcalde of Granada, who arrived in 
Mexico in 1650. 49 

Pedro de Galvez, commissioned June 1, 1649, was urged to 
complete the visitation as speedily as possible. The viceroy and 
Palafox were ordered to turn over to him all papers necessary 
to that end. The new visitor was given a peculiar instruction, 
namely, that the viceroy and the audiencia were not to be al- 
lowed to take cognizance of causes prosecuted by the visitor ; 
yet, in spite of this general inhibition, Galvez was informed that 
he was to be dependent upon the viceroy in matters of the visi- 
tation. He objected to this arrangement, but it was not altered. 
The apparent contradiction is explainable only on the theory 
that in the secret investigations Galvez was to proceed independ- 
ently, while in affairs touching administrative change the viceroy 
was to be supreme. Visitors and viceroys almost uniformly had 
difficulty in adjusting their relations. The two officers in this 
case were commended "to correspond in all unity and conform- 
ity, for the completion of whatever might come up in the dis- 
charge of their commissions." In addition to the inspection of 
the royal offices and courts, Pedro de Galvez was to take the 
residencia of the viceroy, his servants, and the alcaldes mayores 
whom he had appointed, in case this had not already been done 
by Antonio de Quiroga or Antonio de Castro, oidores of Guate- 
mala, who had been commissioned for the purpose in 1647. 50 
Galvez was also to investigate charges which had been brought 
against Palafox by the Jesuits — a visitor visited, in fact. He 
was also to probe charges of injuries suffered by the city of 
Puebla in the Jesuit disturbances during the rule of Salvatierra, 
and to report on desirable methods for increasing the revenues 

49 Ibid. 

50 On the visitation of alcaldes see above, p. 98, and below, p. 129. 

114 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

of San Luis Potosi. His power in the viceroyalty was enhanced 
by the privilege of sitting with the audiencia in its acuerdos. 
That he might look forward to a reward for his difficult task, 
he was promised a place in one of the councils of the court upon 
his return to Spain. 51 

The first visitor-general commissioned to New Spain under 
Bourbon rule was Francisco de Pagave, member of the Consejo 
de Hacienda. On June 21, 1710, he was appointed "for the 
universal visitation of New Spain, with the faculty of naming 
subdelegates. " The cedula of his appointment says in effect: 
The experience of small returns from real hacienda of New 
Spain at a time when funds are especially needed makes it 
necessary to speculate on the cause of this unfortunate condition, 
as well for the sake of its remedy as for the punishment of those 
who are guilty of causing it. The errand must be intrusted to 
a minister of integrity and zeal such as is Pagave. That min- 
ister is named visitor-general of real hacienda and all its depo- 
sitories, its accountants, and other ministers in Mexico and other 
ports and cities in New Spain, with power to send subdelegates 
to provinces which he may not be able to visit personally. 
Pagave is to bring charges against all delinquent officials, and 
the Council of the Indies is to render judgments on these charges. 
His salary is to be the same as that of preceding visitors, 6000 
ducats per annum. His instructions are to be general, not 
specific. All ministers are to aid in the paramount duty of 
increasing revenues, especially from the mining duties. This, 
it is hoped, will be effected without that notable delay which 
has characterized previous visitations of real hacienda, causing 
confusion among officials and actual decrease in the output of the 
mines. Exact compliance with the laws and ordinances govern- 

5i Acuerdo y papeles tocantes a la visita, 136-6-12; Guijo, Biario, in 
Documentos para la Historia de Mexico, Priraera serie, I, 107-276, gives 
short accounts of the movements and official acts of Pedro de Galvez. He 
returned to Spain in 1654. 

Pagave and Garzaron 115 

ing oficiales reales and contadores is to be required. Under these 
regulations, the details of the visitation are left to Pagave 's 
discretion, to punish proven frauds, close all delinquent accounts, 
and collect any balances due. 

For hearing causes the visitor is to name an assessor from 
among the oidores; upon his advice suits are to be conducted and 
judged. Appeals are to be allowed only according to law, and 
time limits are to be set for the defense. Record is to be kept 
of the specific origin of any moneys collected, and these funds 
are to be sent at once to Spain on national ships. The visitation 
is to be concluded as expeditiously as possible. For subdelegates 
Pagave is to commission members of the audiencia if possible. 
Their salaries are to come out of the increase to real hacienda 
which they produce. In cases of doubtful litigation the visitor 
and his assessor are to appeal to the viceroy and audiencia for 
temporary decision, until the will of the Council of the Indies 
can be made manifest. In a later instruction Pagave is ordered 
to attach the estates of delinquent officials as security for the 
payment of debts, fines, or balances. The viceroy and audiencia 
are forbidden to listen to any appeal from the visitor's judg- 
ment, nor are they to be made acquainted with any part of his 
commission. This inhibition does not apply in cases in which 
the visitor may seek advice of the audiencia as prescribed above. 52 

This visitation was only of the affairs of real hacienda, the 
purpose being to provide funds for the wars in which Philip V 
found himself engaged. Visitation of the courts of justice was 
in 1715 intrusted to the licenciado, Francisco Garzaron, inquis- 
itor of Mexico. Garzaron finished the visitation of the audiencia 
of Mexico only, though he had orders to visit both of the audi- 
encias and the other courts. Indeed, he refused at first to under- 
take the visitation at all, as he was made dependent upon the 
viceroy, Valero, for certain features of his work. He made a 

52 Acuerdo y papeles tocantes a la visita, 136-6-12. 

116 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

representation to the court that if the visitation was not to be 
entirely independent of the viceroy it would be useless; he was 
accordingly given the independence which he desired, being more 
adroit or influential than his predecessor, Galvez. He began his 
visitation of the audiencia by examining the oidores in the order 
of their seniority. When the time came to make his charges he 
gave each officer visited merely general descriptions of the 
charges against him, without specifying what the proofs were, 
or whether they were conclusive or otherwise. The officials 
presented their defenses, which were to the point in some cases, 
but beside the point in others, owing to the secrecy of the pro- 
cesses which had been brought ; in the meanwhile the officers had 
been suspended and removed from Mexico. 

When the visitor's findings were sent to the Council of the 
Indies they were reviewed in the following manner : The sum- 
mary trial records were examined behind closed doors by the 
ministers of the Council, including the fiscal. When this hear- 
ing was ended the doors were opened, and the attorney of the 
accused official was admitted and made a defense, just as his 
client had done in Mexico, under the same disadvantage due to 
ignorance of the specific accusations. The court then passed 
sentence. Most of the officials were deprived of their positions. 
Many attempts were made to reopen the cases, but the King 
denied all petitions save one. One oidor succeeded in having 
his case reviewed by two ministers of the Consejo Real, though 
he had indeed died before the review was heard. He was ac- 
quitted, not a barren victory in spite of death, for his heirs were 
thus relieved of the payment of his fines. 53 

The visitation by Garzaron was one of the longest on record. 
In 1724 the Council of the Indies advised that it should be 
brought to a close as soon as Garzaron could finish the exami- 
nation of the tribunal de client as, the oficiales reales, the consu- 

53 Solorzano, IT, 353-4. 

The Proposal of Campillo y Cosio 117 

lado, and the other courts within the City of Mexico. At the 
same time Philip V ordered the viceroy to bring accusations 
against any delinquent ministers of New Spain, under his facul- 
ties as defined in the Recopilacion, libro 2, titulo 16, ley 44. But 
Garzaron died before his task was done, and in 1728 Pedro 
Dominguez de Contreras, a member of the audiencia of Seville, 
was commissioned to complete the visitation of the tribunals of 
Mexico City. He was instructed to work under the rules which 
had been provided for Garzaron, and his salary was the usual 
one, 6000 ducats per annum. 54 

In 1765 Jose de Galvez was instructed by the Council of the 
Indies to take possession of the papers of the last visitation, by 
Garzaron, and ascertain whether the regulations provided by 
that visitor for the procedure of the audiencia were being ob- 
served. 55 It is thus evident that there was no visitor-general 
sent to New Spain during the interval from 1728 to 1765. In 
1743, indeed, as has been already noted in the first chapter, 
Campillo y Cosio urged sending a group of visitors-general to 
all the American provinces for the purpose of ascertaining what 
evils of administration might be corrected, and for the inaugu- 
ration of the system of intendancies throughout both continents. 
Though the general inspection of South America by Jorge Juan 
and Antonio Ulloa met this plan in some degree, yet so far as 
New Spain was concerned the idea lay dormant until Charles 
III began the movement which resulted in sending Galvez to 
New Spain in 1765. 56 

6. Qualifications of visitors. — Little of moment has been 
written by Spanish authors on the visitation, nor have other 
writers given it adequate attention. The most noteworthy dis- 

s* Acuerdo y papeles tocantes a la visita, 136-6-12. 

55 Council of the Indies to Jose de Galvez, Cedula, March 14, 1765, 

56 See above, p. 36. 

118 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

cussion of it is that by Solorzano in his Politica Indiana? 7 While 
much of his discussion concerns legal technicalities treated with 
great prolixity, the main points brought out are important as 
presenting what the Spaniards themselves thought of the visi- 

Visitors should remember, said Solorzano, that the presump- 
tion is in favor of the rectitude of judges and magistrates who 
are to be visited. Hence not too facile credence should be given 
to those informers who endeavor to make out serious cases against 
them, for in such remote provinces as the Indies there are very 
many men of evil deeds and little conscience who succeed oftener 
in bringing punishment upon upright officials than upon guilty 
ones, the latter being more adept at shielding themselves by 
purchasing their enemies. 

In order to be efficacious, the visitation, whether general or 
particular, should have a time limit set ; three or four years 
should be enough. Solorzano saw few visitations which were 
brought to a conclusion. A visitation of the audiencia of Lima 
by Bonilla lasted twenty years ; both the visitor and the members 
of the audiencia were dead before it was completed. Another 
visitation lasted eighteen years, and had then been barely begun. 
In 1589 the visitation of the viceroy Manrique de Zuniga 58 was 
intrusted to the bishop of Tlascala, and was never finished at all. 

Visitors should be chosen from among men of great authority, 
of probity, and expertness in legal affairs, such as were suitable 
candidates for places in the Council of the Indies — a practice 
which was usually observed, as has been noted. The visitors 
should go out with the understanding that it was their business 
to discover good officials as well as bad ones, in order that royal 
approval might be as certain as royal condemnation ; for visitors 
who seek too assiduously for evil will be sure to find more of it 


Tom. II, libro v, cap. x. 
ss See above, p. 107. 

Qualifications of Visitors 119 

than actually exists. Officials visited should be given the benefit 
of the doubt, because their positions are hard ones, as they are 
the targets for the shafts of calumny of all against whom they 
decide in the equitable performance of their duties. 

On the other hand, when visitors are sent out they should 
not be recalled too readily when complaints are made against 
them. If their probity was considered when they were ap- 
pointed they ought to be allowed to complete tasks imposed upon 
them, whereas the contrary practice was too often observed. In 
contrast to jueces de residencia, visitors should not be liable to 
challenge for partiality in trials. 59 It was, however, sometimes 
the practice for the Council of the Indies to permit visitors who 
were challenged to associate with themselves an acompaiiado to 
try cases in which the partiality of the visitor was questioned. 
Solorzano held that this was unnecessary except in what were 
called demandas piiblicas, that is, trials conducted in public, with 
representation of the accused. 00 

Visitors ought not to bring charges against oidores for error 
of judgment in their legal decisions. Such was, indeed, the 
regulation of a cedula of February 11, 1593, incorporated into 
the laws of the Indies. 

Finally, visitors should be very certain, in bringing charges 
of serious nature, that these are well proven before being sub- 
mitted to the Council. They should be chary of renewing charges 
which had already been tried once in visitation or residencia, 
for it was a maxim of the law that no person should be placed 
in jeopardy many times for the same offense. This did not pre- 
vent charges being brought against officers who had committed 

59 Recusation, originally intended to protect a defendant from a judge 
suspected of bias, was formerly used in English as well as in Roman law. 
It became a device to delay the process of justice. See Rodriguez de San 
Miguel, Pandectas, III, No. 3706, 3720-3753; Novisima Becopilacion, tit. 
2, lib. 11. 

eo Becopilacion, lib. 2, tit. 34, ley 36, provided that visitors should be 
accompanied in public but not in secret trials. 


120 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

offenses which should have been but were not tried during pre- 
vious visitations; in fact, the perpetual ministers of the audi- 
encia were customarily liable to trial for old offenses newly dis- 
covered by a later visitor. In this respect they were in worse 
condition than corregidores and other term governors and offi- 
cials, who, having once undergone the residencia, were not liable 
to trial for old offenses. 

7. Laws of the Indies on visitations. — During the period 
from 1551 to 1680 the provisions of the Spanish monarchs for 
the regulation of visitations became part of the laws of the Reco- 
pilacion; they are found for the most part in libro 2, titulo 34. 
It is appropriate here to indicate the provisions of the most 
important of these. 

The Council of the Indies might, whenever deemed necessary, 
send out, with the king's approval, visitors to the Casa de Con- 
tratacion, to the consulado of Seville or Cadiz, to the officials of 
the audiencias of the Indies, the tribunales de cnentas, consu- 
lados, and to "all those who according to law ought to be 
visited. ' 761 

Visitors were required to go to the chief city of the district 
to which they were sent and inform themselves as to how justice 
was executed, what churches had been founded, how church offi- 
cers comported themselves, in what condition real hacienda was, 
what frauds had been committed, what fines had been paid, and 
where the money might be. 62 They were to publish their visi- 
tation throughout the entire district concerned, 63 and for all their 
needs the viceroys and presidents of audiencias, or governors, 
were to render all assistance needed, 64 refraining from placing 
any impediment in the way of visitors, such as resorting to ap- 
peals or exceeding their powers. 65 Visitors might sit with audi- 

ei Ley 1. 64 Ley 10, 1608. 

62 Ley 8, 1588. 65 Ley 11, 1608. 

63 Ley 9, 1588. 

General Legal Provisions 121 

encias and hear discussions, but might not vote nor intervene in 
affairs belonging to the audiencias. 66 -This law was sometimes 
ignored, and certain visitors were given the right to vote with 
the audiencias, as has been noted above. In 1588 visitors might 
subdelegate representatives to take visitations of provincial 
towns, 67 but this power was taken from them in 1606. 68 In 1633 
they were allowed to send representatives or go themselves, as 
they saw fit. 69 Officers visited were not to be deprived of their 
functions save under serious accusation. Charges being brought, 
the accused were to be allowed to make a defense, and remain v 
suspended until the Council of the Indies should pass final judg- 
ment. If any officials tried to impede the visitation, they might 
be suspended if it were deemed necessary. 70 _ 

Expenses of visitation were to be met from court fines, or, 
if these were insufficient, from real hacienda, reimbursement to 
be made later from fines. 71 Visitors and jueces de residencia 
were obliged to send to the Council, in addition to the written 
processes of their visitations, private accounts of each case tried, 
with details as to witnesses, accusations, and findings. 72 Visi- 
torial accusation was not to be brought against magistrates for 
error of judgment in imposing fines, no matter what the sum 
involved. 73 Officers visited were not to have copies of testimony ^ 
against them, nor to know the names of their accusers. 74 Public 
suits (demandas publicas) were to be limited to seventy days' 
duration, counting from date of summons, and in any such public 
cases which might be pending before audiencias visitors might, 
if requested by litigants, execute justice. 75 Visitors were not to 
submit their commissions to the audiencias, but only make gen- 
eral announcement of their errands, without giving specific in- 

se Ley 12, 1588. 7i Ley 42, 1588. 

67 Ley 19. 72 Ley 41, 1565. 

es Ley 18. 73 Ley 30, 1593. 

es Ley 20. 74 Ley 24, 1606. 

70 Ley 26, 1588. 75 Ley 35, 1607. 

122 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

formation concerning them. 76 Any small matters which visitors 
conld not finish before the time to conclude their commissions 
were to be referred to the viceroy and ministers of justice and 
hacienda. 77 Collections made by visitors were to be paid not to 
them, but to the tribunal de cuentas. 78 Ecclesiastics performing 
visitations of audiencias or taking residencias might not enjoy 
their churchly immunity (fuero) during the execution of their 
commissions. 79 

Only those officials who lived in cities where there were audi- 
encias need be visited unless specific orders were given extending 
the visitation. 80 Visitors w T ere to have access to the records of 
all courts, to read or to copy them, in a place where secrecy of 
the records would not be divulged. 81 But they were forbidden 
to ask for the books in which the oidores kept copies of letters 
written to the king about the visitation. 82 Viceroys were to be 
visited in matters concerning their presidency of audiencias ; 
their acts as captains-general and as viceroys were to be inquired 
into only at the residencia, as were the acts of their assistants 
and servants. 83 Serious offenders, save only viceroys, might be, 
if suspended, sent out of their districts, or even to Spain. 84 If 
officers were deemed guilty of serious crime, the visitor must 
expedite their cases, forwarding the documents in proof to the 
Council as quickly as possible without waiting to render decision, 
that justice might be swift. 85 Visitors might execute judgments 
on the estates of accused officials, in spite of appeals, if requested 
to do so by aggrieved parties, for the sake of public example. 86 
In 1633 visitors were required to circumscribe their reports to 
the Council to affairs immediately germane to their commissions. 

76 Ley 7, 1609. 82 Ley 17, 1607. 

" Ley 31, 1610. 83 Ley 13, 1624. 

78 Ley 32, 1608. 84 Ley 27, 1624. 

79 Ley 37, 1619. 85 Ley 28, 1623. 
so Ley 15, 1624. se Ley 29, 1625. 
si Ley 16. 

Visitation of Courts of Justice 123 

All necessary decisions of affairs they might make for themselves, 
in accordance with law. In all cases not covered by their com- 
missions visitors were to proceed according to the laws of the 
Indies and of Castile. 87 By royal order of December 31, 1630, 
visitation was prohibited of such officers as received their com- 
missions from councils other than that of the Indies. 88 In 1680 
it was provided that visitors might be challenged only in regard 
to public suits, in which recourse to the viceroy might be had, 89 
and when visitors were so challenged they should have acom- 
panados named by the viceroy, with the aid of whom suits caus- 
ing challenge should be decided. 

8. The Instructions to Gdlvez. — It will thus be seen that the 
regulations governing the visitation, as promulgated by the 
Hapsburgs, are simply an agglomeration of special rules, with 
little coherence. Many of these laws were re-enacted several 
times ; in each case the date of original enactment has been indi- 
cated in the footnote. Fortunately, the instructions given to 
Jose de Galvez are of greater service in explaining the purpose 
and procedure of his and other visitations than are the laws of 
the Indies. These instructions were contained in three principal 
documents, two of which emanated from the Council of the 
Indies, and a third from the King. The first of the instructions 
of the Council refer to visitation of the courts of justice. Its 
substance is as follows: 

Galvez was to present to the viceroy and the audiencia his 
commission for a visitation of all the courts of justice, publish 
his visitation in all cities and towns of the viceroyalty by placing 
his orders on public bulletin boards; examine all witnesses se- 
cretly (informing them that they need not prove what they 
testify, but only tell the truth) ; and, for his own guidance, de- 

87 Ley 34, 1633. 

ss Ley 30. 

89 Ley 36; this provision was affirmed by cedula of April 28, 1765. 

124 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

mand any papers needed from the government archives. He 
should see whether the judges of the audiencias fulfilled their 
oaths of office by attending court daily, observing secrecy in all 
cases until judgment was rendered, and preventing abuse in legal 
procedure. He was to find out whether the oidores conducted 
their special rotational commissions outside of Mexico City with- 
out abuse or undue expense to the towns in which they were 
entertained; whether they received more salary than was pro- 
vided by law or accepted gifts from litigants ; and whether they 
enforced the laws prescribing good treatment of the Indians. 
The visitor was to ascertain whether subordinates of the audi- 
encias unlawfully accepted fees for defending Indians, inasmuch 
as they were adequately paid for such service from the tax paid 
by the Indians (medio real de ministros) for their defense. The 
conduct of governors and alcaldes in apportioning merchandise 
to the Indians of the encomiendas was to be rigorously investi- 
gated, and the oidores held responsible for any laxity which they 
might have permitted. The fiscals of the audiencias were to be 
prosecuted if they had failed to defend the Indians, or if they 
had not paid particular attention to affairs of real hacienda as 
their chief duty. Those oidores who served as jueces de oienes de 
difantos were to be examined as to their proper conduct of all 
probate cases. Subordinates of the courts were to be examined 
to see whether they connived to delay justice for profit, charged 
excessive fees, or whether they kept the records in orderly condi- 
tion, complying with the laws which prescribed their duties. 
The visitor was to examine the state of the funds created by 
court fines and expenses (penas de cdmara y gastos de justicia). 
He was to see that the regulations provided for the audiencia 
of Mexico by the last visitor, Garzaron, were observed. In cases 
wherein he found irregularities he was to bring charges against 
delinquents, proceeding in all things with deliberation and recti- 
tude corresponding to the satisfaction which his Majesty had 

Visitation of Real Hacienda 125 

taken in him, acting with the discretion expected from an official 
who has before him the actual demands of the situation. 90 

A separate instruction from the Council prescribed the course 
Galvez was to pursue in visiting the offices of real hacienda : 

In investigating excesses which might have occurred in col- 
lection of revenues, and in ascertaining the increment of the 
various branches of real hacienda, the visitor was to include all 
oficiales reales, contadores, and other officers of finance. He was 
to punish the guilty by preferring charges, hearing their de- 
fenses, and permitting them such appeal as was provided by law. 
The visitation was to be made short enough to be of practical 
value. Previous visitations had dragged until their benefits had 
been nullified. Promotion of mining, collection of mining reve- 
nues, and provision of quicksilver and other supplies to the 
miners was to receive his particular attention. The examination 
of the officers of the treasury was to conform to the requirements 
of libro 8 of the Recopilacion, in which the obligations of such 
officers were set forth. "Exact obedience 7 ' 91 to these laws was 
to be required from all. All sums collected were to be entered 
in the cajas reales in separate accounts and sent to Spain on 
national ships at the earliest opportunity. Galvez was to name 
his own clerk, treasurer, and alguacil, who were to be paid from 
the receipts of the visitation. 92 

Galvez was later informed that he and the viceroy were to 
plan the removal of the swarms of idlers from the large cities 
of the viceroyalty to the frontier, where they might serve them- 
selves and the state as a bulwark against the savages of the 
north. 93 

It is not surprising that the instructions which emanated 
from the King, given over the hand of Arriaga, Minister of the 

90 Manuel Patifio to Galvez, Madrid, March 14, 1765, 88-5-20. 
si See below, p. 194. 

92 Patifio to Galvez, Madrid, March 16, 1765, 88-5-20. 

93 Arriaga to Cruillas, Madrid, March 26, 1765, 88-5-20. 

126 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

Indies, were confined exclusively to affairs of real hacienda. In 
one important particular, that of the prospective establishment 
of intendancies, the instructions by Arriaga concerned reorgani- 
zation of the judicial system, but it was for its effect on real 
hacienda that this reform was chiefly contemplated. On the 
question of enforcement of abstract justice, or on reform in pro- 
cedure, there was no stress placed. 

In contrast with previous instructions, those of Arriaga mani- 
fest a directness and perspicacity which indicate the advance, not 
only in knowledge of New World conditions, but of statecraft in 
dealing with them, which characterized the reign of Charles III. 
These instructions have been translated in the Appendix; for 
the sake of clearness they are presented here in resume : 

Unusual expenditures having necessitated increased revenues, 
a visitor is required who will create such revenues by improving 
the treasury service, cutting down expenses, eliminating frauds, 
and regulating future administration of real hacienda. To this 
end the co-operation of the visitor and the viceroy is expected. 
The visitation is to begin at Vera Cruz. In that city it is to 
include the administration of the cajas reales, the custom-house, 
the imports in single ships, and those of the flota. Inspection of 
single ships is to be more rigorous than of the flota, for the im- 
portations of the latter were not dutiable at Vera Cruz, but at 
the Jalapa fair. Reform of the system of entering goods is to 
be effected in consultation with the viceroy. If only existing 
rules are to be enforced, that matter is left to the visitor, who is 
^y^^if to decide whether more efficient regulations are needed. Espe- 

vy ,)y jrs^ cially must smuggling be prevented. The Jalapa fair is to be 

officially visited, to enforce collection of lawful duties there. In 
every part of the realm revenues are to be inspected branch by 
branch, in order to determine whether collections conform with 
regulations, and what expenses of the service may be eliminated. 
If uniformity of practice, equitable to all, is observed, even 



Instructions from the King 127 

though not the legally required practice, it is to be confirmed. 
But if inequalities are discovered, or if frauds are committed, 
the letter of the law is to be strictly enforced. Officials of in- 
tegrity are to be commended, but others are to be removed. A 
later clause in the instruction obliges the visitor to act always in 
accord with the viceroy, with whom the prerogative lay of recom- 
mending to the King appointees to fill vacancies caused through 
removals by the visitor. 

Wherever established rules of administration of real hacienda 
are adequate they are not to be changed ; otherwise the visitor 
is to frame new rules to be proclaimed by the viceroy. Most of 
the revenues being leased to revenue farmers, the contracts of 
lease are to be carefully examined to ascertain whether they are 
just both to lessees and real hacienda, and to determine what 
increase might be demanded at renewal of contracts, or whether 
administration of the revenue by the crown would prove more 

Specific instructions are then given for reform in the most 
important revenues. In a word, it was expected that the visitor 
would, unless convinced of the utility of other measures, place 
all revenues under crown administration whenever leases ex- 
pired. In legal procedure Galvez was to act as a ministro togado, 
that is, as a superior judge, permitting appeal only to the royal 
person. In actuality, appeals from Galvez to the King were re- 
ferred to the Council of the Indies, and sometimes from that 
body to the Council of Castile, when legal action conforming with 
the reforms which Galvez instituted was desired by the monarch. 

Financial affairs of the municipalities are to be examined 
and reformed in order to prevent malversation, and to make it 
possible to reduce superfluous expense. The feasibility of estab- 
lishing one or more intendancies is to be reported to the King 
for decision. Weekly meetings with the viceroy are to be held 
in order to promote the welfare of the treasury. With the viceroy 

128 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

the visitor is to maintain harmony as far as possible. Finally, 
all steps are to be directed solely to the "service of both Majes- 
ties. ' ' Any steps which are thought desirable, but which involve 
grave difficulties, are to be referred to the King himself, "that 
he may in view thereof act according to his pleasure." 91 

9. The Opinion of Velarde. — Contemporary legal opinion of 
the powers of Galvez under his instructions is not without in- 
terest at this point, though more will have to be said later about 
the incidents which gave rise to the expression of this opinion. 
Galvez had not been four months in New Spain before he was 
embroiled in a violent quarrel with the viceroy, who protested 
that his prerogatives were being invaded by every act of the 
visitor. Cruillas, man of affairs, trained in military but not in 
legal matters, appealed to the fiscal of the audiencia for an inter- 
pretation of the instruction to Galvez and for advice in the special 
difficulties which had arisen. Galvez refused to submit to the 
viceroy copies of his instructions from the Council of the Indies, 
a fact which irritated Cruillas, and circumscribed the opinion of 
the fiscal to the instructions from Arriaga and to the commission 
of Galvez as intendant. As the opinion (respuesta) is generic in 
character, it serves to illuminate understanding of the functions 
of visitors, and the powers of Galvez in particular. Velarde, the 
fiscal, said in substance: 

The commissions and employments which his Majesty con- 
fided to Galvez are those of visitor-general of all tribunals and 
cajas reales of the kingdom, that of regulating the management 
and control of all the revenues of real hacienda, and that of 
intendant of the army with temporary assignment to America. 
Although these faculties are granted to one person, they are 
really distinct, and should be considered separately. 

94 Instruction reservada, Arriaga to Galvez, El Pardo, March 14, 1765, 
88-5-20. Appendix. Cf. the cedula of October 31, 1764, in Zamora y Coro- 
nado, Biblioteca de Legislation Ultramarina (Madrid, 1844-46), III, 597-646, 
which forms the instructions to the first intendant at Havana. 

Judicial and Administrative Powers 129 

The visitation, continued Velarde, is a task of delegated, con- 
tentious jurisdiction over the judges, ministers, and officers of 
the tribunals named in the commission granted, and over crimes 
committed in the discharge of such offices during their tenure or 
on account of them; hence the persons of delinquents are subject 
to the visitor, else his commission would be of little avail. This 
process of the visitation was instituted only for offices which, 
held in perpetuity, might, without such check, become sinister 
in effect upon the vassals. It is not intended for term employees, 
who are, instead, subject to the residencies. Hence governors, 
corregidores, alcaldes mayores, and other officers appointed for 
definite terms in the Indies have never been subject to the visi- 
tation, according to prevailing opinion. If term officers were to 
have been visited, the fact, being an innovation, would have been 
expressed in the King's order. Not his Majesty's power to do 
so is doubted, but the fact of his having done so. If term officers 
are not to be visited, much less are those who hold no public 
position. Galvez seems to think that a visitor ought to take cog- 
nizance of every kind of suit, and that it would be extraordinary 
if he, the highest and most independent judge in the land, could 
not sentence a common thief to prison. 05 Such, however, was 
the situation, according to Velarde. Visitors-general were re- 
stricted to the actual powers expressed in their commissions, and 
their jurisdiction was thereby differentiated from the ordinary, 
in which competency extended to all litigation not expressly for- 
bidden. If the visitation comprehended all classes of cases and 
persons, it would lose its distinctive character ; every subject 
would be deprived without reason of the usual modes of defense 
and the customary recourses. There was no reason why the 
safeguards thrown about the visitation on account of visited 
officers' proneness, if not removed, to wreak vengeance on in- 
formers, should be extended to cases of ordinary justice. The 

» 5 The incident of the visitor's having done this is related on p. 159, 

130 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

only circumstance which mitigated the acerbity of the secret 
process of the visitation, making it endurable for public officers, 
was the fact that upon assuming office they tacitly accepted the 
prospect of such an invasion of their personal rights as vassals. 
Many jurisconsults held that the visitation was even so an unjust 
and harsh process, for no one ought to be deprived of a just 
defense when his reputation was involved. But to exclude ordi- 
nary cases of justice and the investigation of term officials from 
the purview of the visitor in no wise lessened the pre-eminence 
of that officer's jurisdiction; it merely circumscribed it. 

The regulation of real hacienda is likewise a delegated power, 
hence also restricted to the actual terms of the royal commission. 
Galvez had been given power over all branches of the King's 
patrimony, not to administer absolutely, but to examine them, 
study abuses, and establish where necessary new modes of ad- 
ministration. The visitation was concerned with persons against 
whom it was directed — a judicial function. The visitation was 
independent and exclusive in character. The visitor must not 
disclose his instructions for the execution of that commission, 
nor reveal the processes which he brought against those whom 
he "visited." Appeal lay only to the Council of the Indies. 

But, said the fiscal, the task of regulating the revenues was 
of a very distinct nature; though it was, according to Galvez' 
commission, exclusive, it was not entirely independent, for, aside 
from the removal of unfit officers and the forced collection of 
their accounts overdue — matters exclusively of the visitation — 
it was the King's desire that the viceroy should intervene in the 
public matters of the commission of Galvez. The latter might 
correct errors, cut down expenses, establish rules where they were 
lacking, or interpret those which existed. For all those things 
he might issue orders, but it was the mind of the King that he 
should have weekly consultations with the viceroy, upon whose 
authority proclamations for all new measures were to be issued. 

Powers of Gdlvez as Intendant 131 

The visitor alone had no authority to effect innovations, as 
neither would the viceroy have had were it not that such power 
was conferred upon him by the very instructions of the visitor, 
for new measures of administration were usually reserved by the 
throne to itself. In a word, in judicial affairs within his com- 
mission the visitor was independent; in administrative powers 
he was dependent upon the viceroy. 

These distinctions, said Velarde, were indicated in two clauses 
of the instructions to Galvez, one of which 96 said : " In all judi- 
cial affairs of the visitation you shall proceed as a ministro togado 
y de justicia, with the independence, reserve, and exclusive juris- 
diction provided by the laws of the Indies." In another place 97 
concerning the administration of the revenues it was stated : 
"It will be very proper that, while you reside in Mexico, you 
hold weekly meetings with the viceroy concerning these matters, 
for, as they are not reserved and do not concern the visitation, 
the well-known zeal of my viceroy will be interested in them." 

As to the intendancy of the army, which is concerned with the 
subsistence, economy, and policy of the military arm, it was to 
be noted that, said Velarde, though these offices were established 
in Spain by cedula of October 13, 1749, and that intendancy 
of army and province were in that cedula combined, yet the 
intendants were in all their functions dependent upon the 
superior tribunals for the sake of simplicity of administration. 
Furthermore, no intendancies had as yet been created in New 
Spain, nor were there any provisions in the laws for them. The 
viceroy was the actual representative of Majesty ; he might do 
what the King would do, barring explicit prohibitions. He was 
pre-eminent in government, in the courts of justice, in military 
affairs, and in real hacienda, of which he was administrator and 
general superintendent ; none but he might dispose of royal 

96 Instruction reservada, art. XXIX, Appendix. 

97 Ibid., art. XXXII. 

132 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

funds without the king's orders except in emergency. Hence, 
\ an intendant in New Spain could not have any legitimate 
field of activity save in harmony with the viceroy. 9 \ 

Such was the dictum of the viceroy 's advisor ; it was colored, 
doubtless, by the fact that the viceroy and the fiscal suspected 
that Galvez bore a commission which he had not yet exhibited, 
giving him greater powers than those conceded by the Instruccion 
Reservada. Legally no powers could be exercised until the royal 
commission therefor had been exhibited. Galvez was, in fact, 
withholding from the viceroy his instructions from the Council 
of the Indies, being willing to create an opinion that extraordi- 
nary powers were granted by them. Arriaga took him to task 
for so doing, saying that if Galvez did not exhibit them he him- 
self would forward a copy of them to Cruillas." 

The attitude of Galvez toward Velarde's respuesta was that 
a fiscal was an inferior official liable himself to the visitation, 
and hence had no right to express an opinion upon it. Nor could 
he as visitor be influenced by such an opinion ; but he made some 
comments on it, which explain in a measure his own mental atti- 
tude toward his powers and duties. The fiscal, said Galvez, was 
mistaken in the statement that the visitation was aimed only at 
* permanent officials, for viceroys as presidents or as superintend- 
ents of real hacienda were term officials, and also subject to the 
visitation. Permanent officers such as ministros togados of the 
audiencias were subject to the visitation and to the residencia 
as well, judicial processes dissimilar but not mutually exclusive 
in character. As to his visitation being directed against govern- 
ors and ordinary justices, Galvez declared that he had not so 
directed it, but if he saw injustice done by such officials it would 
be his duty to correct it, that being a part of his commission as 
visitor of the courts of justice. 

os Respuesta del fiscal, Mexico, December 22, 1765, 88-5-21. Cf . Smith, 
The Viceroy of New Spain, 113. 

• 99 Arriaga to Galvez, Madrid, March 11, 1766, 88-5-21. 

Francisco Anselmo de Armona 133 

Further discussion of the attitude of G-alvez would involve 
anticipation here of the controversy which occupies much of the 
following chapter. The question of the division of powers be- 
tween the viceroy and the visitor was a Gordian knot cut by the 
court through the expedient of sending out a new viceroy who 
would without doubt work in harmony with the visitor, for the -lie 
demands of the home government for funds were immediate and 

The determination to send out a visitor was reached a long 
time before one was sent. The first choice fell upon Francisco 
Carrasco, later Marques de la Corona, who had for many years 
held administrative positions as director-general of revenues from 
dispensations and stamped paper, and as superintendent of to- 
bacco revenues. Domestic affairs served as excuses whereby Car- 
rasco escaped the unwelcome appointment. Then Francisco An- 
selmo de Armona, intendant of Murcia, who likewise would have 
none of it, received the King's command to go as visitor. He 
was prevailed upon, under pain of imprisonment and confiscation 
of property for disobedience, to accept. 100 Receiving his ap- 

100 Armona gave a pathetic account of his troubles to his brothers be- 
fore embarking at Cadiz. Jose Antonio, one of these, transcribed it in 
his Noticias Privadas de Casa, which was used by Ferrer del Rio, Historia 
del Eeinado de Carlos III en Espaiia, I, 455 et seq. 

" According to the text of the public instructions, the visitor-general 
was to establish the tobacco monopoly, inspect the conduct of the civil 
employees and regulate the offices of hacienda; but without the approval 
of the viceroy he could publish no edict nor auto; neither could he name 
his assessor, subdelegate his powers, give regulations, nor bring processes 
against those guilty of malversation of funds. According to the secret 
instructions, secret even from Arriaga, ... he had to make investigations 
concerning . . . the viceroy . . . who was always indolent in fulfilling 
the due obligations of the royal service, and against whom rested charges 
of peculation. . . . When Cruillas . . . went suddenly (1762) from Mexico 
to Vera Cruz to collect troops . . . and add to the defenses of San Juan 
de Ulloa ... it was shown that . . . the expenses of that critical moment 
amounted to 2,000,000 pesos. . . . The war was concluded . . . without 
any vestige of such sum having been expended on the castle, the coast, 
nor on the roads to the capital. ... If the investigation corroborated 
this report . . . Armona was to arrest [Cruillas] and bring him to be 
tried by the Council of the Indies. ' ' Cruillas vindicated his conduct by 
vouchers presented during his residencia. See below, p. 167. 

134 Origin and Character of the General Visitation 

pointment early in 1764, Armona sailed from Spain late in the 
year. But on his way to Havana he escaped the unwelcome task 
through the interposition of death after only fourteen days at 
sea. Villalba, on whose expedition with troops for New Spain 
Armona had sailed, sent word to the King of the death of the 
visitor-general by a sloop which he passed at sea. Upon receipt 
of this news the third choice for the arduous task in New 
Spain fell upon the recently appointed alcalde de cam y corte, 
Jose de Galvez. 101 

101 Cf. Ferrer del Eio, op. et loc. cit.; Francisco Carrasco to Joseph 
Martinez Viergol, A. H. N., leg. 3211. 



1. Arrival of the visitor-general. — The new visitor-general 
prepared for the voyage to America in the spring of 1765. A 
fleet of five merchant vessels was preparing at Cadiz, to sail under 
convoy of the frigates of war "Astrea" and "Jason," com- 
manded by Don Pedro Truxillo, captain of frigate. Galvez 
reached Cadiz from Madrid on April 13, 1 and sailed on the 
"Jason" on April 26 with his official family. With this fleet 
also went Don Diego Manrique, newly appointed governor of 
Havana, and the Lisbon regiment, which was sent to relieve the 
Cordova regiment, stationed at Havana. 2 The official family of 
Galvez was composed of Francisco Xavier Machado, secretary ; 
Francisco Corres, Benito Linares, Salvador Vicente Barrachina, 
and Prudencio Ochoa Badiola. 3 There were also in Mexico, 
awaiting the coming of the visitor, three individuals who had 
accompanied Francisco de Armona as assistants to his visitation. 
They were Dionisio Azmero, Dionisio de Murga, and Manuel de 
Aldama. Galvez was expected to employ Armona 's assistants in 
his own activities. If possible, he was also to give a position to 
Jose Garcia Santiestevan, a lawyer who had joined Armona 
at the last moment. With Armona when he sailed were Matias 
de Armona, brother of Francisco, and the latter 's two sons, a 
youth of fifteen and a boy of nine years. This Matias de Armona 
was subsequently governor of Lower California. 4 The director 
of the tobacco revenue, Jacinto de Espinosa, was also in Mexico, 

i Galvez to Arriaga, Cadiz, April 16, 1765; 88-5-20. 

2 Juan Gerbaut to Arriaga, Cadiz, April 12, 23, 1765; A. G. de Simancas, 
Marina, leg. 408 antigua. 

3 Ochoa died in Mexico in 1770 (Galvez to Arriaga, Mexico, August 
25, 1770; 88-5-21). 

* Espinosa to Grimaldi, Mexico, February 9, 1765; A. H. N., leg. 2330. 

136 Gdlvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

whither he had accompanied Armona. Him Galvez was to con- 
tinue in that employment, provided he could be utilized also in 
other duties of the visitation. In addition to these persons, who 
were, except the members of the Armona family, recipients of 
salaries paid from the public funds from the day they sailed 
from Cadiz, went also by especial solicitation of Galvez two 
lawyers, friends of his choice, but without pay, to serve as his sub- 
delegates upon occasion. They were Jose Hernandez de Vinuesa 
and Juan Valera. The latter occupied positions in New Spain 
in which he rendered services which proved that the confidence 
of Galvez in him was not misplaced. 

The salary granted to Galvez was 12,000 pesos annually. To 
his assistants salaries were paid as follows: to Machacjo, 1000 
pesos ; to Corres, 1300 pesos ; to Linares, 1000 pesos ; to Barra- 
china and Ochoa 700 pesos each. The salaries paid to the 
assistants who had gone with Armona were: to Azmero, 1800 
pesos; to Murga, 1200 pesos; and to Aldama, 700 pesos. These 
salaries were ordered paid from the treasury of Mexico City. 5 

The "Jason" arrived at Havana on June 25, 1765, 6 and left 
July 4, 7 reaching Vera Cruz on the 18th of the same month. 8 
This definite statement of the exact date of the arrival of Galvez 
in Vera Cruz, here made for the first time with citation of the 
authoritative sources, clears up the conflict which has existed 
among writers concerning the date of that event, and supersedes 
various attempts to account for his supposed private life in 
Mexico for a number of years pending definite instructions to 

5 Relation de los sujetos que han de pasar a Nueva Espana con Don Joseph 
de Gdlvez, Marques de Esquilaehe, El Pardo, March 11, 1765, 88-5-20. 
Eoyal cedula of March 14, 1765, 88-5-20. The salaries of the Armona 
party were assigned by decree of August 7, 1764, 88-5-20. 

e Luis Mufioz to Arriaga, Vera Cruz, July 23, 1765 (A. G. de Simancas, 
Marina, leg. 408 antigua). 

7 Pascual de Cisneros, governor ad interim of Havana, to Arriaga, 
Havana, July 18, 1765; 88-5-20. 

s Mufioz to Arriaga, Vera Cruz, July 23, 1765; A. G. de Simancas, 
Marina, leg. 408 antigua. 

The First Steps 137 

Cruillas concerning the functions of the visitor, after a breach 
which occurred (although there was such a breach) between the 
two soon after Galvez arrived. 9 

The first duty of the visitor upon his arrival was to despatch 
his royal commission to the viceroy. The documents were at 
once forwarded to Mexico by the hand of Machado. While await- 
ing the reply of Cruillas, Galvez took up his residence in the 
castle of San Juan de Ulloa in company with his subordinates. 
There he spent his time in recovering from the fatigue and illness 
resulting from his tedious voyage, and in gathering information 
which would be of service in the prosecution of his visitation. 10 

The commission written by Arriaga March 26, sent by Galvez 
from Vera Cruz, and the Instruction reservada of March 14, 
were received by Cruillas on July 31. On August 1 he sent the 
credentials necessary for the visitation of Vera Cruz, and prom- 
ised to aid the visitor in all that lay within his power. 11 

It was not long before Galvez acquired information that fraud 
and smuggling were going on at the Laguna de Terminos on the 
Campeche coast. 12 He at once sent thither a subdelegate to in- 

9 The following writers have Galvez coming to America in 1761: Cavo, 
Los Tres Siglos de Mexico, written 1794, published in 1836 with supplement 
by Bustamante, the error being perpetuated; Alaman, Disertaciones sobre 
la Historia de la Bepublica Mejicana (1849) ; Eivera, Historia de Jalapa 
(1869) ; Zamacois, Historia de Mejico (1878) ; Richman, California Under 
Spain and Mexico (1911) ; Smith, The Viceroy of New Spain (1913). The 
year of his arrival is correctly given by Lorenzana, Historia de Nueva 
Espana (1770) ; Ferrer del Rio, Historia del Eeinado de Carlos III (1856) ; 
Lafuente, Historia General de Espana (1883) ; Blackmar, Spanish Institu- 
tions of the Southwest (1891). Bancroft, History of Mexico (1883-87), 
makes an effort to harmonize the statement that he arrived in 1761 with 
the statement that he arrived in 1765. 

io Galvez to Arriaga, San Juan de Ulloa, July 22, 1765, 88-5-20. 

ii Cruillas to Arriaga, Mexico, August 1, 1765, 88-5-20. 

12 The English for many years occupied this locality with an extensive 
settlement, the inhabitants of which were engaged in cutting dyewood 
and in making descents upon Spanish vessels plying between Vera Cruz 
and Campeche. They were dislodged from this settlement in 1718, but 
continued intermittent smuggling relations with the Spanish. Cf. Ban- 
croft, History of Central America, II, 623. 

138 Gdlvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

vestigate the affairs of real hacienda at the Presidio del Carmen, 
on the Laguna, using for that purpose the "Jason," which had 
already been prepared for sea. 13 

Feeling anxious concerning a number of the affairs of his 
commission which made his presence in Mexico of more import- 
ance than in Vera Cruz, Galvez decided about the middle of 
August to set out for the capital, where he arrived on the 26th, 
with the purpose of remaining a month. 14 He presented himself 
at once to the viceroy, and immediately afterward to the coman- 
clante general, Juan de Villalba y Angulo. 

Reference has already been made to the circumstances of the 
request by Cruillas for troops when he found the viceroyalty 
threatened by an invasion of the English, who had taken Havana 
by assault in 1762. The troops sent were placed under command 
of Villalba, who carried also instructions under which he was 
able to organize and move troops and build defenses with prac- 
tical independence of the viceroy. Cruillas resented this intru- 
sion upon his military powers as captain-general, and was able 
to make his displeasure felt strongly enough to defeat tempor- 
arily the work of preparing public defenses which was intrusted 
to Villalba. 15 

Galvez announced to both gentlemen at his first meeting with 
them that one of the chief errands with which he had been 
charged was to effect a reconciliation between them, in order 
that the King's plans, which were suffering by reason of the 
impasse, might be put into speedy effect. The visitor believed, 
from his first impressions, that he was to have success in this 
endeavor, but his satisfaction was far from complete, as events 

2. Lack of harmony with the viceroy. — Even at the first 

13 Galvez to Arriaga, San Juan de Ulloa, August 6, 16, 1765, 88-5-21. 

14 Galvez to Arriaga, Mexico, August 27, 1765, 88-5-20. 

15 Bancroft, History of Mexico, III, 402-4. 

Seeds of Discord 139 

meeting with the viceroy lack of harmony between the two men 
became evident. Cruillas expressed disapproval of Galvez for 
having sent the "Jason" to the Laguna de Terminos without 
consulting him. The "Jason" had been prepared to go to sea 
because the viceroy intended to send in that vessel the annual 
situado of 200,000 pesos for the fortifications of the port of 
Havana. The visitor excused his independent action by saying 
that he was not aware of this intention on the part of Cruillas ; 
furthermore, there were two other vessels in the harbor at Vera 
Cruz which could be used for the voyage to Havana. Galvez 
had taken the first one that was ready, it being desirable to get 
his subdelegate to the Laguna as quickly as possible. 16 

Such a contretemps, coming thus at the first meeting of the 
viceroy and the visitor, and having reference to practically the 
first official act of the latter, was prophetic of the difficulties 
which were soon to embroil the two men. Cruillas was a stickler 
for the prerogatives of his office ; he had been made doubly sensi- 
tive concerning them by his differences with Villalba. Galvez 
was no less determined that his important functions should not 
be interfered with. How their antagonism grew will develop in 
the sequel. 

The stay of a month which Galvez had proposed to make in 
Mexico was extended until October 10. During his residence in 
the capital he was busy with affairs which concerned the mining 
and commercial interests, the monopoly of the tobacco business, 
and the plans for public defense, the latter involving the need 
of securing co-operation between Cruillas and Villalba. By dint 
of much persuasion Galvez succeeded in effecting a temporary 
reconciliation between the two military chiefs, with the result 
that four military councils {juntas de generates e ingenieros) 
were held, Galvez attending them in his capacity of intendant. 
At these councils, called of course by Cruillas, it was planned to 

16 Galvez to Arriaga, Mexico, August 27, 1765, 88-5-20. See below, 
p. 159. 


140 Galvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

improve the fortifications of San Juan de Ulloa, 17 to complete 
projected defenses of the Vera Cruz coasts and to send a "for- 
mal" expedition to Chihuahua, Sonora, and Sinaloa against the 
Indian tribes which were terrorizing those regions. The pro- 
posal of the juntas was to send this expedition to the north at 
the beginning of the coming year. Meantime, at the instance of 
the fiscal of the audiencia, two companies of infantry were sent 
to the frontier to hold the savages in check. These measures 
were planned in obedience to royal orders issued toward the close 
of 1764. Galvez began almost as soon as he reached New Spain 
to gather the funds essential for the preliminary expenses of the 
movement against the Indians, but it was not until the spring of 
1768 that the expedition to Sonora was under way. 18 

At these juntas plans were made whereby a permanent reve- 
nue for the support of the militia might be obtained. Some 
previous steps had alread}^ been taken to this end, but it was not 
until February 3, 1767, that revenues of a permanent nature were 
levied. At that time a duty of half a real was placed on each 
carga (load, usually ten arrobas, 250 pounds) of pulque intro- 
duced into Mexico, and six reals were assessed upon every 
cuarteron of native cloth entered. At the same time, for the 
purpose of building barracks, a duty was levied at Puebla of 
three cuartas (1 cuarta = 6 1 / 4 pounds) on every carga of flour 
there consumed. Attempts were made to levy taxes in other 
towns, some of which were successful ; but so great was the 
popular opposition to these levies that little was accomplished 
until the time of the viceroy Flores, and Revillagigedo still found 
the question of levies for the militia annoying. 19 

The prospective opening of the Jalapa fair for the sale of the 
merchandise brought by the fleet was another matter which was 
intrusted to Galvez by his instructions, and which occupied his 

17 Galvez to Arriaga, Puebla, October 15, 1765, 88-5-20. 

is Galvez, Informe General, 140. 

19 Revillagigedo, Instruction Beservada, arts. 665-675. 

The Jalapa Fair 141 

attention, in conferences with the viceroy, during the fall of 
1765. Cruillas had begun preparations for the fair before the 
arrival of Galvez, by issuing an order opening the roads 20 for 
the transportation of merchandise on December 1, 1765. The 
representatives of the consulado of Cadiz were anxious to have 
the date set earlier, but the consulado of Mexico seconded the 
wish of Cruillas to open the fair in December. After much 
persuasion Cruillas yielded the point, lest he be thought to have 
some self-interest in the matter, and issued a new bando making 
the date of opening October 20. The consulado of Mexico yielded 
gracefully after a conference with Galvez, and the merchants 
predicted that the fair would be a success, though it was certain 
that they could not purchase all of the goods brought by the 
fleet on account of scarcity of coin in the realm, due to lack of 
production of the mines and to the large exportations of money 
on the previous fleet. 21 The commercial interests expressed (to 
Galvez) gratification that he was to attend the opening of the 
fair, for the double purpose of preventing smuggling and of 
keeping the European importers (flotistas) from making feigned 
sales. The practice of simulating sales at the fair had frequently 
been the cause of bitter complaint on the part of the merchants 
of Mexico, who lost much profitable business if the goods were 
not carried to the capital to be sold for interior points. The 
pleasure of the merchants over the attendance of Galvez was 
very short-lived, as will be seen from the developments recorded 
in Chapter V. 22 

20 Cruillas, ba?ido, July 10, 1765, 88-5-21. 

2i The -flota of 1765, under command of the gefc de escuadra Don 
Agustin Idiaquez y Borja, returned to Spain in 1766 with a cargo valued 
at 15,785,452 pesos, of which 14,044,541 pesos was in precious metals, 
coined and in the bar. The royal participation in this exportation 
amounted to 163,167 pesos. The preceding flota, of 1762, under command 
of the gefe de escuadra Don Francisco M. Espinola, exported 15,202,796 
pesos' value, of which 13,509,396 pesos was in precious metals, mostly 
coined. The remaining value of the exports was chiefly made up from 
cochineal, dyewoods, and vanilla (Lerdo de Tejada, Comercio Esterior de 
Mexico, docs. 4 and 5). 

22 Galvez to Arriaga, Puebla, October 15, 1765, 88-5-20. 



142 Gdlvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

3. The tobacco monopoly. — The establishment of the tobacco 
monopoly, the third of the duties which called Galvez to Mexico, 
was perhaps the most difficult of his missions. Before giving 
an account of the visitor's share in this work it is essential to 
refer to the status of the project up to the time of his arrival in 
the viceroyalty. 

The Spanish monarchs had long been anxious to establish a 
crown monopoly of the tobacco industry, but fear of economic 
disorder, even of civil violence on the part of vested interests, 
acted as a continuous deterrent. As early as 1642 the bishop- 
viceroy Palafox had recommended to his successor Salvatierra 
that the monopoly be established to provide funds for the main- 
tenance of the Windward Island coastguard fleet (la armada de 
barlovento). 23 Palafox, whose opinion as a visitor-general of 
real hacienda was worthy of notice, felt certain that the measure 
would be easy of execution, and that the risk of attendant dis- 
order was never so great as the fears thereof which were enter- 
tained in Spain. 24 

Galvez was equally sanguine as to the success of the establish- 
ment of the monopoly in New Spain, which was in process upon 
his arrival, and was then being planned for the other Spanish 
possessions as well. 25 The first actual steps in Mexico had been 
taken in 1764 by Cruillas, who had received orders from Arriaga 
in 1761 to begin the work. Cruillas had been interrupted in this 
task by the necessity of first providing for the defense of his 
kingdom from the threatened invasion of English forces from 
Havana. In 1764, however, he initiated government sale of 
tobacco after purchasing a small quantity from Havana for the 

23 The frequent mention of Palafox in the dispatches and documents 
of this period was no doubt inspired by the open admiration of Charles 
III for the memory of the virile visitor-bishop, whose anti-Jesuit procliv- 
ities were shared by the monarch. See Eousseau, I, 166. 

24 Galvez, Informe General, 19; Galvez to Arriaga, Puebla, October 15, 
1765, 88-5-20. 

25 Galvez, Informe General, 26. 

Inception of the Monopoly 143 

purpose. The prices at which this first tobacco was sold were 
lower than those which prevailed in the open trade in Mexico. 
The business was intrusted to Juan Jose de Echeveste, who was 
required to give bonds for 12,000 pesos, and conducted the busi- 
ness at his own risk without salary. The government tobacco 
was sold at one-fourth to one-third less, according to grade, than 
the prices charged by private merchants. 

Spanish participation in the Seven Years' War added so 
much to the public debt, however, that greater income was needed, 
and it was decided at whatever risk to establish a complete gov- 
ernment tobacco monopoly, in hope of meeting the necessity by 
this means. 26 It was for this reason that Armona had brought 
with him Jacinto de Espinosa, newly appointed organizer and 
director of the monopoly. Echeveste, being required by Espinosa 
to give further bonds, which he was unable to produce, his entire 
fortune being invested in the tobacco business that he was 
already conducting for the government, was deposed and Espi- 
nosa himself assumed control in March, 1765. At that time the 
assets of the state concern included the trifling sum of 4424 pesos 
and an insignificant stock of tobacco on hand. 27 

The projected monopoly intrusted to Espinosa involved the 
gradual closing out of all private interests in the manufacture, 
production, and sale of tobacco. As this was a difficult under- 
taking, he was to be guided in his delicate task by an adminis- 
trative and judicial junta of which he was himself a member. 
The others were the viceroy, the visitor, the senior criminal 
judge (decano) of the audiencia, and one of the alcaldes del 
crimen. It was the duty of this junta to decide, first of all, 
whether the monopoly could be established outright, or whether 
only the purchase of tobacco from producers should be under- 
taken, while the existing stocks of merchants should be allowed 
to be distributed, with prohibition of further private negotiation 

26 Eeal Cedilla, August 13, 1764, cited by Galvez, Informe General, 20. 

27 Galvez, Informe General, 20. 

144 Gdlvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

by any one. The second alternative would of course leave pro- 
duction entirely in private hands. The decision of the junta, 
which had proceeded with its affairs in spite of the death of 
Armona, was that the monopoly should be established through- 
out the viceroyalty. Accordingly, bandos over the viceroy's sig- 
nature but in terms proposed by Espinosa were published on 
December 14, 1764, and January 18, 1765, ordering the prelimi- 
nary measures. By the latter bando, dealers were required to 
make declaration of all tobacco on hand, and to sell it to the 
government. The alcaldes mayores of Cordova, Orizaba, and 
Tesuitlan were ordered to send representatives of the planters 
of those sections to Mexico to make contracts for the sale of their 
tobacco to the government. These regions were exempted "by 
royal clemency" from the general prohibition to plant tobacco 
because the crop raised there was chosen to provide the raw 
material for the monopoly. 

Espinosa made contracts with the planters of Orizaba and 
Cordova by the terms of which they sold their tobacco at three 
reals, one cuartilla (about forty cents) per pound for first-class 
tobacco, two and one-half reals (thirty-one cents) for second-class, 
and one real (twelve and a half cents) for third-class tobacco. 
Twenty-four reals for twenty-five pounds (one arroba) were paid 
for scrap tobacco of all classes. Payment for tobacco was to be 
made wherever the planters chose. Other features disadvanta- 
geous to real hacienda were included in the contracts, which, in 
spite of the expostulation of Sebastian Calvo, the alcalde del 
crimen who was a member of the junta, were signed on February 
21, 1765, for a term of three years. The contracts with the 
Tesuitlan planters were made at prices a little lower, their to- 
bacco being of slightly inferior quality. Galvez thought the 
prices allowed by these contracts excessive, tobacco bringing no- 
where else in all the world such high returns. The planters 
gained a double profit by weighing in the grass mats and cords 

Conflict With Espinosa 145 

with which the tobacco was baled, so that the government re- 
ceived only half the weight of tobacco it paid for, though some 
tare was allowed. 28 

At juntas held on April 11 and 21, 1765, the sale prices were 
fixed at six reals per pound for leaf tobacco, twenty reals for 
first-class snuff, and at sixteen and eight reals for second and 
third classes respectively. Warehouses were planned for the 
towns where contracts had been let and collectors of the crop 
were arranged for. Planting of tobacco was prohibited in all 
provinces other than those having contracts, and a decision was 
reached to lease the sales monopoly by bishoprics. On the point 
of lease as against crown administration Espinosa insisted, not- 
withstanding that the instructions of the King had been to ad- 
minister the revenue if possible. When Galvez reached Mexico 
City in August he at once declared his advocacy of the admin- 
istration of the revenue. The result was a conflict between him- 
self and Espinosa which led to the gradual elimination and 
ultimate deposition of Espinosa from participation in the plan 
of organization. 

At another junta, on April 30, the duty on imported snuff 
was fixed at twelve reals per pound. Decision on this duty pro- 
voked another disagreement between Galvez and the director; 
Galvez held that the rate ought to be 100 per cent (twenty reals), 
as was the practice in Spain. On this point he was ultimately 
successful in 1771, when Croix fixed the duty at the figure recom- 
mended by Galvez, importations under the lower duty having 
been in excess of the demand. 29 

It was also ordered by the junta of April 30 that Espinosa 's 
plan of leasing the monopoly by bishoprics should be put into 
effect, though Calvo reiterated his adherence to the instructions 
of the King to put the monopoly under administration. A bando 

28 Galvez, Informe General, 21-22. 

29 Ibid., 23. 

146 Gdlvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

was issued on June 16, 1765, inviting bids for the contracts, on 
which a profit of 150 per cent was held out as an inducement, 
but no bids were offered, as the monopoly was in bad repute 
because payment had not been made to merchants for stock 
which they had surrendered, nor had the April orders prohib- 
iting planting and selling tobacco by private persons been any- 
where enforced. 

Thus the monopoly was such in name only, and was confined 
in its operations to Mexico City and vicinity. Financially the 
new organization was bankrupt. By the end of August, 1765, 
its receipts had reached 29,754 pesos, while its expenses were 
35,533 pesos, besides which it was in debt for salaries and on 
contracts for tobacco. 30 The direction was without system ; many 
persons were continuing in free commerce of tobacco in spite of 
the declared monopoly; the junta was ineffective on account of 
disputes between its members; above all, Espinosa was proving 
himself to be incompetent to effect better conditions. 31 

4. Gdlvez dominant in the junta. — Such was the condition 
of affairs when Galvez reached Mexico for the first time, on 
August 26, 1765. The junta, which had not met since June, now 
reconvened on the second day of September. The visitor took 
his seat in this junta by virtue of the instructions which had 
conceded that honor to his unfortunate predecessor, Armona. 
The instructions with which Galvez himself had sailed were 
silent as to the tobacco monopoly, but this omission was supplied 
by a special order from the Marques de Esquilache, who was 
director-general of the tobacco revenues of the Spanish domin- 
ions. By this order, dated April 22, 1765, which had been sent 
direct to Espinosa to be delivered to Galvez, the latter was 
authorized to intervene in the affairs of the tobacco monopoly. 
The order announced the gratification felt by the King at the 

so Galvez, Informe General, 26-27; Galvez to Arriaga, Puebla, October 
15, 1765, 88-5-20. 

si Galvez to Arriaga, Jalapa, October 27, 1765, 88-5-20. 

Organization Effected 147 

progress which Cruillas and Espinosa had made in the establish- 
ment of the monopoly. "I therefore command you," wrote 
Esquilache, "that, as visitor-general, and exercising the power 
of intendant, you participate in all measures taken, hastening 
and facilitating all those which Espinosa deems useful and con- 
ducive to securing the perfect establishment of the rent. . . . 
You will look upon this as the chief object of your commission 
... as it will be one of the most grateful services which you can 
render to the King. ' ' 32 

The entry of the visitor into the junta had a galvanic effect. 
He at once persuaded that body to re-establish its credit by 
paying its debts — a thing he was better able to do because he 
had obtained a loan of 100,000 pesos from the deputy of the 
consulado of Cadiz, with the assurance that if necessary he might 
count on the use of the entire proceeds of the commerce of the 
fleet for the purpose of putting the monopoly on its feet. The 
junta reversed its previous decision by voting that the revenue 
should be put under administration without delay, and a oando 
was issued retracting that one mentioned above which called for 
bids on leases. At a junta held on September 6, factories (ware- 
houses) were ordered established in Mexico, Valladolid, Guadala- 
jara, Oaxaca, Vera Cruz, and Campeche ; in the remaining towns 
collection and sale of tobacco were placed in the hands of 
the magistrates, under instructions drawn up by Galvez. 33 Juan 
Jose de Echeveste was reinstated in his old position as treasurer 
of the revenue, from which he had been removed by Espinosa. 
Antonio de Frago, then contador of the revenue, was named as 
co-director with Espinosa, and Matias de Armona, an adherent 
of Galvez, was made contador. These appointments were made 
for the purpose of so limiting the power of Espinosa that obedi- 

32 Keproduced in Galvez, Informe General, 26. 

33 Galvez, Informe General, 24-26; Galvez to Arriaga, Puebla, October 
15, 1765, 88-5-20. 

148 Gdlvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

ence to the royal instructions, as interpreted by Galvez, might 

be secured from him. 34 

Not content with half measures, the new member of the junta 

called that body's particular attention to the royal order above 

cited which Esquilache had sent; by virtue of this order the 

junta delegated to Galvez power to name collectors of tobacco, 

guards to prevent free commerce, and a manager to supervise 

planting and harvesting throughout the year and to arrange 

contracts for purchase. In addition to these specific powers, it 

was provided in a final clause of the resolution of the junta that 

Galvez should "use his discretion in all other cases wherein he 

might consider his measures convenient." 35 

So that [wrote Galvez to Arriaga], Most Excellent Sir, in the short 
time of the month of September I have seen the monopoly established 
with applause in the entire viceroyalty; for the inhabitants have seen by 
the latest general bando, which I formulated, the merciful intentions of 
the King and the considerable benefit they will acquire if this revenue 
flourishes, because it will relieve them from other taxes which might be 
grievous and burdensome. I have left Mexico with the satisfaction of 
seeing that more than 500 pesos' worth of tobacco is daily sold in the 
royal monopoly of that city, in spite of the fact that every one is supplied 
for a year in advance with tobacco which was bought in anticipation of 
the long unrealized establishment of the monopoly. . . . Before two years 
have elapsed this will be one of the most considerable revenues of the 
viceroyalty. 36 

This prophecy was abundantly confirmed. Galvez was now 
in the saddle, though the riding was still to be difficult. It was 
not long before the junta charged him with exceeding his author- 
ity in spite of the sweeping discretionary powers which had 
been delegated to him. Nevertheless, he proceeded with his own 
plans for establishing the monopoly on the administrative basis. 
First of all, it was necessary to get rid of the custodians whom 

34 Galvez, Informe General, 26-27. 

3- r > Certificacion del acuerdo de la junta de 6 de Septiembre de 1765, in 
Expediente de cartas cruzadas entre Galvez . . . y . . . Cruillas, 88-5-20. 
36 Galvez to Arriaga, Puebla, October 15, 1765, 88-5-20. 

Opposition to Galvez 149 

Espinosa had placed in charge of the tobacco warehouses in 
Mexico ; these men were persistent in their adherence to Espinosa 
and in their careless methods of keeping account of their stock. 
Galvez preferred charges against them, removed them, and put 
his own adherents in their places. 

He then set out from Mexico on October 10 for Jalapa and 
Vera Cruz, to open the fair and to publish his visitation of the 
cajas r sales of the seaport. With him he took Francisco del 
Real, whom he had decided to have appointed collector of tobacco 
and chief of the revenue guard. Real was also intrusted with 
construction of royal warehouses in the villas (Cordova and Ori- 
zaba). His appointment was later confirmed by the junta and 
by Esquilache. 37 

During the time that Galvez was absent from Mexico, from 
October 10 to the end of January, 1766, the adherents of the 
leases which Galvez had opposed (Cruillas and Espinosa) influ- 
enced the deputies of the consulado of Cadiz to withdraw their 
offer to advance more money for the monopoly, as they had 
solemnly promised in session with Galvez to do. The visitor 
learned this fact from the deputies in Jalapa ; he succeeded, how- 
ever, in obtaining funds from residents of Mexico and Vera Cruz 
to the amount of over 600,000 pesos, which he used in financing 
the monopoly. In Jalapa he also purchased a large quantity of 
cigarette paper, with the purpose of securing to real hacienda 
the added profit which would result from selling tobacco in the 
manufactured form. In his absence from Mexico the junta was 
able under various pretexts to delay the beginning of this enter- 
prise, the real reason for the delay being that the project con- 
templated prohibiting all but regular tobacconists from engaging 
in sale of cigars and cigarettes, as a preliminary to closing out 
all private traffic whatsoever. 

37 Galvez, Informe General, 31-32. The office of inspector was con- 
tinued until 1790, when Revillagigedo suspended it, saving 4000 pesos of 
salary by so doing (Instruction Beservada, art. 1110). 

150 Galvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

Late in January Galvez returned to Mexico from Vera Cruz, 
where he had experienced difficulties with Cruillas over affairs 
of his visitation to which reference will be made in subsequent 
pages. In the meantime the junta had held ten meetings and 
two general bandos had been published. One of these, dated 
November 12, announced that power to try cases of fraud against 
the monopoly was granted to the court of La Acordada; another, 
of November 19, ordered the alcaldes mayores to render state- 
ments of sums which they had advanced for tobacco collected, 
that they might be reimbursed. Meetings of the junta left the 
record that public revolts which had occurred in Puebla had been 
due to the establishment of a cigarette factory there by Galvez, 
whereas the real motive of the disturbance was a census taken 
by Cruillas' orders for the purpose of enlisting militia. At- 
tempts had also been made by the junta to embarrass and dis- 
credit Armona in his care of the funds as contador. 

The presence of Galvez in the January and February meetings 
put a damper on opposition • he obtained approval of his ap- 
pointment of Real, of the measures he had taken establishing 
cigar and cigarette factories in a number of the royal warehouses, 
and of the prohibition to merchants not tobacconists to engage 
in sale of the commodity. But the opposition of the recalcitrant 
junta had by this time come to the attention of Esquilache, and 
he ordered it abolished by an order dated February 25, 1766. 
From the date of receipt of this order in May until August, when 
Croix became the new viceroy, Galvez acted as subdelegate super- 
intendent of the tobacco monopoly, without interference. 38 

5. Later history of the monopoly. — It will be expedient to 
digress here from consideration of the relations between Galvez 
and Cruillas to follow to its conclusion the account of the to- 
bacco monopoly during the time of Galvez' visitation. A new 
tobacco junta was formed by Croix immediately upon his in- 

Galvez, Informe General, 33-66. 

The Junta de Tabaco 151 

duction into office. It included in its membership the fiscal of 
the audiencia, Juan Antonio Velarde, who bent his energies to 
defeating the measures which Galvez had adopted. The manu- 
facture of cigars and cigarettes in the government factories was 
stopped, as a favor to private manufacturers, and private sale 
of those commodities was permitted to all merchants. The new 
viceroy, however, listened to an opinion presented by Galvez, the 
new contador, Hierro, and Simon Huarte ; on the strength of 
this opinion, Croix was persuaded in May, 1767, to suspend the 
action of the junta which had reversed Galvez. The King, on 
October 14, 1767, approved the action of the viceroy, and ordered 
obedience to the bando of March 17, 1767, which contained the 
provisions of Galvez' policy. The junta was by the same order 
(of October 14) deprived of administrative functions and re- 
duced to cognizance of litigation concerning the new monopoly. 
The King reiterated his preference for administration instead of 
lease, and advised Croix that Espinosa should be removed if he 
persisted in advocating leases, or at the discretion of the viceroy. 
The measures of Croix were now directed to securing the 
ends which Galvez recommended. By repeated orders, private 
manufacture and sale of tobacco were limited to those who had 
no other means of livelihood, and a government factory was put 
into operation in Mexico by Echeveste in 1769. It proved highly 
profitable from the outset. By 1771 over 6000 persons of both 
sexes were employed in it and the profit to the government from 
its operation was about fifty per cent. 39 A very important result 
was that employment was thus given to a large number of poor 
men and women who had previously caused serious police prob- 
lems in the metropolis. In August, 1770, the operatives in the 
factory established a voluntary relief fund from a payment of 
half a real every week. This fund they used to clothe and care for 
their poor and their sick, and to pay burial expenses of deceased 

39 Galvez, Informe General, 36-38. 

152 Galvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

operatives. This enterprise Galvez ardently recommended to 
the protection of Bucarely, successor to Croix in the viceroyalty. 
In Puebla, Orizaba, and Oaxaca manufacture of cigars and cig- 
arettes was at that time giving employment to about 6000 more 
persons, most of whom had previously been without regular work. 

The junta formed by Croix in 1766 reduced the selling price 
of tobacco in the leaf to six reals per pound in Mexico, Puebla, 
and Oaxaca ; to six and a half reals in Valladolid and Guada- 
lajara ; to seven reals in Durango, except Chihuahua, where it was 
seven and a half reals. In the provinces of Sinaloa, Sonora, 
New Mexico, Texas, and Nuevo Santander and in California, 
where Galvez established the monopoly when he was on the 
peninsula in 1768, the price was fixed at twelve reals. 40 

The excessively high purchase prices granted to the planters 
of Orizaba and Cordova by their first contracts with Espinosa 
were reduced in 1766 by Galvez to about 22,000 pesos below the 
400,000 odd pesos which they had received in 1765. The planters 
protested against the decrease, as their contracts had been made 
for a term of three years, but Croix, acting on the advice of 
Galvez, denied their protest, and enjoined upon the planters 
perpetual silence in the matter. The King approved the viceroy's 
decision by royal order of June 22, 1768. 41 

The organization of the monopoly was materially affected, as 
has been shown, by the order of October 24, 1767, which deprived 
the tobacco junta of administrative powers, and vested them in 
the viceroy, in conformity with his control over other revenues. 
Early in 1768 Galvez and Croix drew up an Instruction contain- 
ing ordinances and forms of judicial procedure for the govern- 
ment and direction of the monopoly ; these were approved by 
the king on October 22 of the same year. Tobacco was dispensed 
throughout the viceroyalty from stores controlled by adminis- 

40 Galvez, Informe General, 39-42. 
4i Ibid., 43. 

Permanent Policy Outlined 153 

trators of the revenue. Soldiers on the frontier were supplied 
by the captains of the presidios. The guards who protected the 
monopoly were also charged with protection of the custom- 
houses, the powder and the playing-card monopolies. The funds 
of the revenue were cared for by the contaduria of the tobacco 
monopoly and not by the tribunal de cuentas. An administrator, 
a contador, and a treasurer were given charge of the contaduria. 
In his Informe General, frequently cited in this chapter, 
Galvez recommended to Bucarely the development of govern- 
ment manufacture of cigars and cigarettes and the gradual ex- 
tinction of all manufacture by private persons by the device of 
selling leaf tobacco at the same price as the manufactured 
product. As a protection against scant crops in bad years, and 
consequent light revenue, surplus raw material should be bought 
and stored, that it might be used in case of need to keep the 
revenue from fluctuating. Annual purchase of considerable 
quantities of tobacco from Louisiana was urged by the visitor, 
as much to assist, the former French colony as to insure a steady 
supply for the factories of New Spain. For a number of years 
tobacco was bought in Louisiana, but decay of the leaf and losses 
in transportation led to the discontinuance of the importation 
in 1792. 42 Galvez also recommended that, until the intendancies 
could be established, the factors of the various administrative 
offices of the revenue should serve as judges in suits concerning 
it, as did the administrators of other customs and duties, with- 
out prejudice to the trial of frauds and smuggling cases in first 
instance by the justicias ordinarias. The latter were to remit 
such cases with the court records to the factors for adjudication, 
in accord with the provisions of the above-mentioned Instruccion 
of February 5, 1768 ; the sentences imposed by the factors should 
be open to appeal to the tobacco junta before execution by order 

42 Maniau, Compendio, 3a parte, 19. 

154 Gdlvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

of the viceroy. An assessor and fiscal of the revenue should be 
appointed in each of the capitals, Mexico and Guadalajara. 

For cognizance of cases to be heard in ultimate recourse the 
junta should be continued, as ordered by royal cedula of May 
26, 1766. For this junta Galvez thought the three oidores of the 
audiencia who then composed it sufficient. The proceeds of the 
revenue were sent direct to Spain, except 100,000 pesos used 
to buy tobacco in Havana. 43 

The establishment of the monopoly was most efficacious in 
producing increase of revenue. For the first two years the profit 
amounted to 239,097 pesos; in 1767 it was 417,732 pesos; by 

1773 it amounted to nearly a million and a quarter pesos, and 
by 1798 it was over four and a half millions. From 1765 to 
1809 the total profit was 117,482,551 pesos, exclusive of the 
alcabala of 1,589,987 pesos which the monopoly paid into the 
general fund of the viceroyalty on sales during the period from 

1774 to 1809. Up until the last-named year, counting from 
1774, the sales of tobacco by the government produced a gross 
income of 242,561,296 pesos ; salaries and commissions consumed 
26,751,390 pesos; labor cost 41,428,120 pesos; costs of transpor- 
tation and paper used amounted to about 20,000,000 pesos; the 
actual tobacco purchased cost only about 34,000,000 pesos. The 
monopoly was continued by the Mexican government after inde- 
pendence, with returns large at first, but gradually diminishing, 
until by 1843 the income was practically nothing. 44 

In spite of the great productivity of the tobacco monopoly 
in revenues, the Spanish government was constrained in 1789, 
on account of the clamor raised by those against whom the system 
discriminated, to request Revillagigedo to report whether it 
would be feasible to abolish the monopoly without prejudice to 
the crown income. With all his economic acumen, the viceroy 

43 Galvez, Informe General, 54. 

44 Kobert Criehton Wyllie, Mexico. Noticia sobre su Hacienda Publico, 
oajo el Gobierno Espanol y despues de la Independencia (Mexico, 1845), 22. 

Anti-economic Aspects 155 

felt impelled to report that no safe plan suggested itself. 45 The 
clamor was, he thought, due to a few malcontents, rather than 
to a general desire. If any other duty could have been devised 
which would have produced nearly equal revenue it would have 
been most desirable, as the tobacco monopoly was especially ex- 
pensive to operate, with its multitude of employees and officers. 46 

Not even the exceptional success of the tobacco monopoly 
won for it praise from Alexander von Humboldt. The huge 
income derived he characterized as "accruing even under this 
system of restraint." He firmly believed that free commerce in 
this, as in most of the other monopolized industries, would have 
produced greater economic wealth, and hence greater revenue- 
producing power. At the time of the writing of the Political 
Essay tobacco production was limited to the environs of Orizaba 
and Cordova and to the partidos of Huatusco and Zongolica, 
that is, to a territory of four or five square leagues' area. The 
gnardas de tabaco made it their care to pull up all tobacco 
planted outside this favored area and to fine all who produced 
the plant for their own use. The monopoly necessarily destroyed 
the tobacco industry in the Guadalajara partidos of Autlan, 
Etzatlan, Ahuacotlan, Tepic, Sentipac, and Acaponeta, resulting 
in decrease of population there. 47 

6. Clashes with Cruillas. — Now to return to the narration of 
the events which characterized the official intercourse of Galvez 
and Cruillas during the year which they spent together in New 
Spain. In addition to the faculties granted by his instructions 
and by the laws of the Indies, the visitor possessed powers as an 
intendant of the army. 48 His possession of this military rank 

45 Bevillagigedo, Instruction Eeservada, arts. 1172-5. 

46 Ibid. 

47 Political Essay, III, 39-40. 

48 The order conferring this position upon him has not been brought to 
light by the present investigation. D. E. Smith says, without citation of 
authority, that "the great Galvez himself was an intendant in the royal 
army before he entered upon his career as the reforming statesman of 


156 Galvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

brought into the viceroyalty a third officer with powers likely to 
conflict with those of Cruillas as captain-general and those of 
Villalba as comandante general de las armas. The latter two 
had, as has been seen, reached an impasse over questions of com- 
petency of authority. It was with special pleasure, according 
to Galvez, that the people of New Spain welcomed him in his 
capacity as intendant, for it was felt that he would be able as 
such to curb the arbitrary power of the viceroy. 

They desire [he wrote] that they may have established here the mild 
government of the provinces of Spain, in which power is divided between 
military chiefs of affairs of economy and police, and those of the trib- 
unals of justice, who restrain one another through the justifiable emulation 
of each in his own department, so that the King is served with precision, 
and his subjects are protected from mistreatment without recourse at the 
hands of a single chief. 49 

Plainly, Galvez was from the first predisposed to the affirm- 
ative solution of the question of the establishment of intendancies 
in New Spain, 50 and quite as plainly he intended to exercise his 
functions as a military intendant, though there were no pro- 
visions in the laws of the land which afforded him an opportunity 
of so doing. Aside from attendance upon military juntas, he 
did this during the incumbency of Cruillas merely in small ways, 
but independently, and with the result that the official dignity 
of the viceroy was thereby deeply offended. Trouble began very 
soon, too, oyer the right claimed by Cruillas to judicial review 

New Spain" (p. 106). It is plain from numerous contemporary refer- 
ences to his possession of the title that it was conferred at the time of his 
appointment as visitor and for the purpose of giving him opportunity to 
test the practicability of establishing intendancies in New Spain. In the 
order by Esquilache cited above, mention is made of the fact that Galvez 
possessed the title of intendant, and Galvez himself, writing to Arriaga 
under date of October 15, 1765, said that he had entered the viceroyalty 
with the powers of that office. Elsewhere he makes the statement that 
he was not a military man. See below, pp. 238, 290. 

49 Galvez to Arriaga, Puebla, October 15, 1765, 88-5-20. 

so Instruction reservada, March 14, 1765, translated in Appendix (art. 

Conflicts of Authority 157 

of the cases arising under the visitation of the cajas reales. The 
viceroy also denied that Galvez had authority to appoint em- 
ployees to positions from which he had removed incumbents for 
cause. 51 By the time the December mail was ready to go to 
Spain Galvez had prepared documents to show that Cruillas was 
embarrassing him in every way. The viceroy had counter- 
manded orders given by Galvez to the governor of Vera Cruz 
regarding sale of smuggled goods, and had demanded the written 
records. of procedure (autos) of the visitation made by Galvez' 
subdelegate at the Laguna de Terminos in the matter of French 
and English smugglers taken. The viceroy had publicly endeav- 
ored to impede the visitation, construing the visitor's measures 
as affronts to his authority. He demanded, quite properly, to 
be shown the instructions which had been given to Galvez by 
the Council of the Indies, and he turned over to the fiscal of the 
audiencia the Instruction reservada which Arriaga had given 
to Galvez, with certain cedulas and transcripts (testimonios) 
of the visitation, requesting the fiscal (as has been already no- 
ticed) to render an opinion as to the powers of the visitor, and 
his observance of his instructions. Galvez held that such a 
course was absurd. To attempt to regulate the procedure of an 
independent visitor by submitting his official acts to the scrutiny 
of a fiscal — an inferior officer, himself subject to the process of 
the visitation — was as irregular as it would be to submit to him 
the secret instructions whereby he was to be judged. 52 

Several official acts had been performed by the visitor subse- 
quent to his departure from Mexico in October — and conse- 
quently without prior consultation with the viceroy — which 
Galvez thought might have caused Cruillas to feel resentment. 
When he went to Jalapa Galvez found that the muleteers carry- 

si Galvez to Arriaga, Jalapa, November 18, 1765, 88-5-21; this letter 
states that delay was already caused to the business of the visitation by 
the interference of Cruillas. 

52 Galvez to Arriaga, Vera Cruz, December 20, 1765, 88-5-20. 

158 Gdlvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

ing goods from the fair to interior towns could not enter their 
merchandise in the custom-houses on holidays because they were 
closed on such occasions, while the towns were only slightly 
guarded by revenue officers. Hence it was quite possible on 
holidays to dispose of merchandise without entering it in the 
custom-houses, and thus to evade the alcabala duty. Galvez 
therefore ordered that the custom-houses should remain open 
to receive goods on holidays, and that the muleteers should re- 
turn receipts given at the custom-houses (tornaguias) to show 
that their goods had been delivered lawfully. These measures 
however, Cruillas approved as soon as he was informed of them. 

Not long afterward Galvez received a letter from the mariscal 
dti campo Juan Fernando de Palacios, who was at Puebla or- 
ganizing militia, stating that the ayuntamiento had unexpectedly 
voted to dispose of 15,000 pesos then in the municipal treasury 
so that this money could not be used to provide uniforms for the 
•jfc militia, as had been ordered by the viceroy. Galvez, acting 
under his instructions to visit and regulate the funds of munici- 
palities, 53 at once wrote to the governor and the ayuntamiento 
that they must keep the money for the purchase of uniforms, 
as they would thus avoid a new tax such as had been levied in 
other places. He was obeyed. 54 

It was also brought to the attention of Galvez that two mem- 
bers of the ayuntamiento of Oaxaca had undertaken to oppose 
the establishment of a tobacco factory, and were inciting women 
of the lower class to go about the streets shouting opposition to 
the tobacco monopoly. The corregidor of Oaxaca, Tomas de la 
Serrada, happened to be in Jalapa with Galvez; in agreement 
with the corregidor, Galvez sent word to the ayuntamiento of 
Oaxaca to restrain the two recalcitrant regidores, which was 

53 Instruction reservada, art. XXX, Appendix. 

54 Palacios to Galvez, Puebla, October 17, 1765; Galvez to the Cuidad 
de Puebla, October 19, 1765; in Expediente de cartas cruzadas entre . . . 
Gdlvez y . . . Cruillas, 88-5-20. 

The Lag una de Terminos Affair 159 

done. "And it appears to me," he wrote, "that in this a min- 
ister, who has been given by the King jurisdiction over all the 
towns and courts of this realm has not exceeded his powers. ' ?55 

Whatever may have been the attitude of the viceroy concern- 
ing these independent acts of Galvez, it is certain that in other 
instances he was deeply offended. One case of disagreement 
occurred under the following circumstances: The commissaries 
of the court of La Acordada seized and brought before Galvez, 
under orders from their chief, a thief who had stolen two mules 
and a sum of money from his employer. Galvez sentenced the 
thief to four years' forced labor on the fortifications of San 
Juan de Ulloa. To this procedure Cruillas took exception by 
reprimanding the governor of Vera Cruz for having received 
the prisoner, and by taking the treasury officials to task for 
having given the culprit the rations due to him as an exile. The 
viceroy had the prisoner removed from San Juan de Ulloa and 
placed in the municipal jail at Vera Cruz, and called upon 
Galvez to submit to him the records of the case for review, a 
request with which the visitor declined to comply. 

A more serious clash between Galvez and Cruillas was inci- 
dental to the visitation of the Laguna de Terminos. The diffi- 
culty occurred while Galvez was at Vera Cruz, where he pub- 
lished and began his visitation on December 2, 1765. 56 Notice 
has already been taken of the fact that Galvez sent a subdelegate 
to the Laguna de Terminos without consulting the viceroy, and 
that the latter took exception to the act of Galvez in sending 
thither the "Jason". The subdelegate found at the Laguna an 
English frigate, the "Nancy," and a French sloop, the "Triton," 
engaged in smuggling dyewood. He seized these vessels, and 
sent the "Nancy" to Galvez at Vera Cruz with the prisoners 
taken, the autos of their cases, and the cargo of dyewood seized. 

55 Galvez to Arriaga, Vera Cruz, December 20, 1765, 88-5-20. 
se Galvez to Cruillas, Vera Cruz, December 4, 1765, 88-5-20. 

160 Gdlvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

The cargo of the French sloop and the accompanying papers he 
sent to Galvez on a Spanish vessel. Galvez declared the 
"Nancy" and the two cargoes contraband, 57 and ordered the 
governor of Vera Cruz to sell them. Cruillas ordered the gov- 
ernor not to permit the execution of Galvez ' orders, as he consid- 
ered that the visitor was exceeding his authority in attempting 
to dispose of contraband. The viceroy also demanded that 
Galvez send him either the original records or the transcripts 
of the smuggling cases. This Galvez refused to do, alleging that 
the viceroy was prohibited from interfering with the judicial 
processes of the visitation, or even with those of the governor 
and treasury officials, upon whom the visitor looked as mere 
jueces ordinarios. 

Still another detail of the Laguna affair caused friction. 
Galvez called upon Villalba to send a sergeant and eleven soldiers 
from Vera Cruz to the Presidio del Carmen on the Laguna to 
serve as a guard against smugglers. Although Galvez had pre- 
viously informed the viceroy that in case he needed military 
assistance he would always apply to the comandante general, 
that officer in this case provided the detachment without con- 
sulting Cruillas at all. For having obeyed the request of the 
comandante, the governor of Vera Cruz, Felix Ferraz, was 
sharply reprimanded by the viceroy, who was ignorant of the 
transaction until after the departure of the soldiers from Vera 
Cruz. 58 As chief military authority of the viceroyalty, Cruillas 
insisted that no detachments of troops could be moved without 
his express authorization. 59 Although the complaint of the vice- 
roy was against Villalba rather than against Galvez, the latter 
took exception to the interference of the viceroy as being ob- 
structive of his work. 

57 Galvez to Arriaga, Vera Cruz, October 27, 1765, 88-5-21. 
ss Cruillas to Ferraz, Mexico, November 3, 1765, 88-5-21. 
5» Cruillas to Galvez, Mexico, November 20, 1765, 88-5-20. 

Mutual Acerbities 161 

In the course of the investigation of affairs at the Laguna de 
Terminos Galvez became convinced that the governor of the 
presidio, the captain, Bernardo Montero, and the paymaster, 
Salvador Gonzalez, had all been guilty of complicity in the 
smuggling cases above alluded to. He therefore removed them 
and appointed other officers in their stead. This action was also 
disputed by Cruillas as an excess of authority. 60 

Galvez demanded of Cruillas, in view of all these clashes, to 
know categorically whether Cruillas was determined to impede 
his visitation and to prevent him from participating as intend- 
ant in the economic affairs of the army; a categorical answer 
was essential, that he might know whither to direct his activities 
until such time as "the King may decide whether it is his supreme 
will that I should be dependent upon yours, in which case you 
will see that no one will obey you with more exactitude than I." 61 

The viceroy replied that he had no desire to impede Galvez 
in the use of any of his proper functions, either as visitor or as 
intendant ; the orders which he had given contrary to those of 
Galvez concerned only matters in which he conceived that the 
latter had no authority. If such authority was conferred by 
any secret instructions which Galvez might hold, and of which 
Cruillas had been denied cognizance, he could not be blamed for 
opposing it unknowingly. As to the conflict of judicial author- 
ity, he had submitted the question to the fiscal and would rely 
on that official to give him such legal advice that he might safely 
be guided by it. 02 

Galvez insisted that his was the highest judicial authority in 
the viceroyalty, and that the fiscal was not qualified to pass upon 
its competency, as he had not seen, nor would he ever be shown, 
the secret instructions from the Council of the Indies. 63 Re- 

60 Galvez to Arriaga, Jalapa, November 18, 1765, 88-5-20. 
6i Galvez to Cruillas, Vera Cruz, December 4, 1765, 88-5-20. 

62 Cruillas to Galvez, Mexico, December 11, 1765, 88-5-20. 

63 Galvez to Cruillas, Vera Cruz, December 18, 1765, 88-5-20. 

162 Gdlvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

porting this situation to Arriaga, Galvez wrote that he had little 
confidence in the assurance of Cruillas that he did not intend to 
impede the visitation, "in spite of what he says in his letter of 
the 11th instant, for this gentleman is never consistent, and is 
thus not embarrassed by failing to perform what he promises 
either by word of mouth or in writing. 7 ' 64 The viceroy, wrote 
Galvez, was determined to render the visitation unavailing, turn- 
ing the people against the visitor by asserting that he had come 
to impose grievous taxes upon them, and spreading other false 
rumors by emissaries hired for the purpose. There was nothing 
left for Galvez to do under the circumstances but return to 
Mexico, leaving the visitation of Vera Cruz in charge of a sub- 
delegate. In Mexico something might be done to remedy the 
situation ; at least he could occupy his attention in quelling dis- 
turbances which were then afflicting several of the cities, espe- 
cially Puebla, where riots were occurring in connection with the 
enlistment of militia. Galvez prayed that the King would take 
measures to prevent the repetition of such embarrassments as 
those to which he had just been subjected. Otherwise, he begged 
to be allowed to give up the visitation as a useless errand and 
return to Spain. 65 He did return to Mexico about the end of 
January, leaving the visitation of Vera Cruz for the time being, 
and engaging himself with arrangements for placing the alcabala 
and other revenues under administration, 66 pending a reply to 
his request from the King. 

The fiscal of the audiencia, Juan Antonio Velarde, upheld 
the viceroy in the details of his conflict with Galvez as to juris- 
diction in cases involving contraband and appointment of officers. 
But Galvez swept the fiscal aside, saying that as visitor he could be 
responsible to none but the King and the Council of the Indies. 67 

64 Galvez to Arriaga, Vera Cruz, December 20, 1765, 88-5-20. 

65 Galvez to Arriaga, Vera Cruz, December 20, 1765; same to same, 
Vera Cruz, January 8, 1766, 88-5-20 and 88-5-21. 

66 Galvez, Informe General, 101. 

67 Galvez to Cruillas, Vera Cruz, January 1, 1766, 88-5-21. 

Both Sides Appeal to Madrid 163 

Cruillas felt most keenly the refusal of Galvez to concur with 
him in his claim to sole right to appoint officers at the Laguna 
de Terminos in place of the smugglers removed, and decided to 
refrain from assisting the visitor in his commission until he 
should yield this point. He ordered Villalba to refuse Galvez 
military aid in publishing his visitation. Villalba was loath to 
obey, but Galvez determined to proceed without military escorts, 
which were more for pomp than necessity. When the viceroy 
was apprised of the intention of Galvez to publish his visitation 
by going to the various cities in person with only his attendants, 
and nailing up his notices with his own hands, he yielded the 
point. 68 

The viceroy represented his side of the situation to Arriaga 
on May 14, 1766. His complaint was that Galvez, before going 
to Vera Cruz, had requested the fiscal to take no action in cases 
involving real hacienda until he, Galvez, should return to Mexico 
and examine them. This action caused needless delay to the 
adjustment of the alcabala and the gunpowder revenues. The 
act of Galvez in appointing ad interim officers to replace those 
whom he had removed at the Laguna, without consulting Cru- 
illas, was another sore point, in which Cruillas finally came off 
with a barren victory, it being decided during the term of his 
successor that such appointments should be made by the viceroy, 
the particular incident being closed by the recommendation of 
Croix that the appointees of Galvez should be confirmed. 09 

Arriaga approved the action of Galvez in bringing the La- 
guna smugglers to trial and ordered him to proceed with their 
prosecution, foreigners and Spaniards alike. At the same time 
he wrote that there was no reason why Galvez should not show 

68 Cruillas to Villalba, Mexico, February 24, 26, 1766; Villalba to Esqui- 
lache, Mexico, March 23, 1766; Galvez to Arriaga, Mexico, September 27, 
1766, 88-5-21. 

69 Cruillas to Arriaga, Mexico, May 14, 1766; Arriaga to Croix, San 
Lorenzo, November 21, 1766, 88-5-21. 

164 Gdlvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

Cruillas his instructions from the Council of the Indies. That 
body, never friendly to Galvez, insisted that the latter had no 
jurisdiction in smuggling cases ; he retained the papers concern- 
ing the trials, however, and refused to communicate them to the 

7. A new viceroy selected. — "While these petty bickerings 
were occupying the energies of the King's personal representa- 
tives in New Spain, slow progress toward the adjustment of the 
situation was being made at Madrid. As early as October 28, 
1765, the King hurriedly summoned to his court the Marques de 
Croix, and upon his arrival there tendered to him appointment 
as viceroy of New Spain. Croix 70 had accepted at some time 
before December 20. He did not reach Cadiz until March 4, 
where he found that the "Dragon," on which he was to sail, 
would not be ready for a month at least. He finally left Spain 

70 Charles-Francois de Croix was born at Lille in 1702, and died at the 
age of 85 years on October 28, 1786. He was the son of Alexander- 
Francois de Croix and Madeleine-Fran^oise de Fiennes. The family had 
many members who, being Flemings, had rendered conspicuous service to 
the thrones of France, Spain, and Austria. On September 28, 1726, Croix 
was made colonel of the Walloon Guards, and became a lieutenant-general 
on October 14, 1745. Holding successively the governorships of Ceuta, 
Andalusia, and Galicia, he was next named viceroy of New Spain in the 
fall of 1765. Charles III said of him: "I know his disinterestedness, 
zeal, and application ... he is a good officer, I shall never forget him, 
and I shall make use of him. ' ' In order to appoint Croix it was necessary, 
since he was a Fleming, to abrogate the law of the land, which pro- 
hibited bestowing viceroyalties upon any but Spaniards born — Croix was 
the first foreigner to receive such an appointment. Writing on November 
18, 1765, a personal letter to his brother, in which he speaks of the 
urgency with which the king had pressed the appointment upon him, he 
added, "malgre ce grand honneur, je ne marche que malgre moi, car la 
besogne est terrible et me fait peur d'avance. " At that time he expected 
to embark for New Spain in the following February. 

It is evident that the recall of Cruillas was determined upon suddenly 
and after receipt of news which could not have left New Spain later than 
the September mail. If this assumption is correct, the decision must have 
followed news of the first disagreement between Galvez and Cruillas, in 
August, 1765. On the other hand, Cruillas had served since his public 
entry into Mexico in October, 1760, and was logically due for retirement 
at any time (Croix, Correspondance, preface, p. ix, x, 185-87). 

Arrival of Francisco de Croix 165 

May 3, and reached Vera Cruz July 18, 1766, a year to a day 
later than the arrival of Galvez. 71 

While Croix was still at Cadiz he received on April 8 an 
order from the King dated March 31, directing Galvez to serve 
as juez de residencia in closing the official term of Cruillas, but 
on April 14 this order was countermanded, as his Majesty had 
determined to choose another judge for that purpose, feeling, no 
doubt, that the experiences of Galvez in New Spain had disqual- 
ified him for impartial conduct of such an inquiry. 72 It was 
not until late in June that the judge who actually conducted the 
residencia was decided upon. The magistrate chosen was Do- 
mingo de Arangoyti, fiscal of the audiencia of Guadalajara, 73 
and not Areche, fiscal of the audiencia of Mexico, as has been 
erroneously stated by Bancroft. 74 

Croix left Vera Cruz for the capital on August 11, and re- 
ceived command of the viceroyalty from Cruillas. at Otumba on 
August 23. On the next day he took his oath of office before the 
audiencia of Mexico. 75 In September he received the royal cedula 
of June 25 naming Arangoyti juez de residencia for his prede- 
cessor, and communicated it to the Guadalajara fiscal. The 
charges to be preferred against Cruillas were sent by Arriaga 
to the Council of the Indies on July 18, 1766, to be despatched 
to Mexico by the first mail. 70 

8. Residencia of Cruillas. — Strange as it may seem, none of 
the difficulties between Cruillas and Galvez, or between Cruillas 

7i Correspondance, 195-99. 

72 Arriaga to Croix, Madrid, April 14, 1766; Croix to Arriaga, Cadiz, 
April 8, 22, 1766; 90-2-19. 

73 Arriaga to Croix, Aranjuez, June 26, 1766; the king to Arangoyti, 
Aran juez, June 25, 1766; Arangoyti to Arriaga, Mexico, May 15, 1767; 

74 History of Mexico, III, 368. 

75 Correspondance, 201. 

7 6 Arriaga to Tomas del Mello, San Lorenzo, July 18, 1766; Croix to 
Arriaga, Mexico, September 24, 1766; 90-2-19. 

166 Gdlvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

and Villalba, were made subjects of investigation in the vice- 
roy's residencia. Arangoyti listened to the testimony of seventy 
witnesses, who were examined in a formal interrogatory of forty- 
six questions such as were prescribed by law for the conduct of 
the process. Ten public charges were brought, and one secret 
one, which were serious in themselves, but the strictness of the 
residencia was manifested in the refusal to allow Cruillas to 
depart the viceroyalty until it was concluded. Though this was 
the legal provision, it had not been recently adhered to; Croix 
did not undergo his residencia until two years after his return 
to Spain, and the expenses of the trial were then borne by the 
royal treasury. At the time of the residencia of Cruillas his 
audit ores de guerra, secretaries, assessors, attaches, and servants 
all underwent the same official scrutiny, as was the custom. 

The first charge brought against Cruillas was that he had 
not always retained the same person as his assessor, but had 
sought advice from various members of the audiencia as occasion 
presented. 77 Second, he had denied appeal to certain litigants 
before him in affairs of real hacienda. Third, he had made his 
nephew, Fernando Monserrat, castellano (keeper of the castle, a 
position in which he had control of the galleon importation 
duties) of Acapulco, and to certain of his servants he had given 
state employments. Fourth, he had drawn on the royal funds 
for the traveling expenses of persons whom he had named for 
special commissions. Fifth, he had drawn large sums for sup- 
plies for Pensacola, for New Orleans, and for vessels of war. 
Sixth, his drafts on the royal treasury had made it impossible to 
accumulate the surplus of 2,000,000 pesos in the mint as the 
King had commanded should be done. Seventh, he had illegally 
borrowed from the funds of deceased persons (bienes de difun- 
tos). Eighth, he had not in 1765 paid the 250,435-peso situado 
of the twelve presidios of the interior provinces, having on hand 

77 Croix followed Cruillas' example in this respect (Correspondance, 


Vindication of Cruillas 167 

less than half the amount. Ninth, he had suspended payments 
allowed by the crown to certain Bethlehemite, Franciscan, and 
Capuchin friars, on account of the same insufficiency of funds. 
Tenth and last, he had kept in his own office public documents 
emitted by the secretariats of the government and had charged 
fees for their use, whereas free access should have been conceded 
to those who needed them. 

Arangoyti began the residencies in November, 1766, Cruillas 
having remained in private life near Vera Cruz during his wait, 
notwithstanding his repeated requests to be allowed to return to 
Spain. 78 The fiscal, submitting the autos of the residencia to 
the Council of the Indies on May 15, 1767, reported that he had 
on April 27 completed the process, finding the viceroy blameless 
in all matters of real hacienda and of justice. The only feature 
of his administration in which there was suspicion of irregu- 
larity was in the matter of dispensing employments for compen- 
sation. This was a fault, said Arangoyti, to which the viceroys 
were prone, but no proof could be established, owing to the 
private and unrecorded nature of the transactions, neither party 
to which could gain by disclosures. The charge concerning 
which most open rumor had busied itself was that Cruillas had 
been guilty of peculation during the expenditures for military 
defense against the British in 1762. This charge was completely 
refuted by vouchers which Cruillas submitted in evidence of his 
expenditures. 79 

The secret investigation (pesquisa) of Cruillas and his fiscal, 
Velarde, was conducted during July, 1766. It concerned the 
incident of the arrival at Vera Cruz in 1763 of three British 

78 Croix to Arriaga, No. 30, Mexico, November 6, 1766; Arriaga to 
Cruillas, Madrid, January 13, and Aranjuez, April 14, 1766; 90-2-19. 

79 Chap. Ill, note 100. Rumor was not easily killed by an official investi- 
gation: "La marquise de Cruxillas, femme du Vice-Roi, a son arrivee a 
Madrid, disait comme chose toute simple qu'elle avait rapporte pour elle 
dans son bolsillo 600,000 piastres, e'est-a-dire 3 millions de livres; jugez 
par la ce qu 'a eu son mari ' ' (Extrait de diverses lettres, Correspondance, 


168 Gdlvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

vessels, which Cruillas permitted to remain in the port and to 
sell 70,000 pesos' worth of merchandise, contrary to law. Worse, 
he had, upon the advice of Velarde, allowed this commerce free 
of duty. Arangoyti's finding in this matter was that Cruillas 
had but followed the advice of Velarde ; he therefore exculpated 
Cruillas and recommended that Velarde be reprimanded. The 
Council of the Indies found, however, that whatever irregularity 
might have been committed, circumstances following war scarcity 
excused purchase of needed goods from the late enemy, whom it 
was most essential to treat with courtesy. The whole case was 
therefore closed with Cruillas vindicated officially in every par- 
ticular by the final decision of the Council on February 6, 
1768. The King complimented him on his victory, saying that 
he had always believed that such would be the outcome of the 

Charles III had succeeded in getting rid of an unfortunate 
situation in his principal colony without unduly humiliating any 
one. When Cruillas left New Spain he was accompanied by 
Villalba. Thus was removed a possible source of friction in 
military affairs which then demanded particular attention. The 
King was finding that the Spanish theory of government, whereby 
officials were pitted against each other in order that emulation 
might bring increased efficiency, was working too well, as it 
usually did when a viceroy was pitted against an aggressive 
visitor-general. Galvez with all his legal acumen, with all his 
backing at court, and only a moderately capable viceroy to con- 
tend with, but already harassed by the military activities of 
Villalba, was not able to break through the trammels of the 
intricate administrative system and effect reform of permanent 
value with the certitude demanded by the situation. The method 
adhered to by the crown, of intervening in the smallest details 

so Council of the Indies, Sentencias dictadas en la residencia de Cruillas, 
February 6, 1768, 90-2-19. Arriaga to Cruillas, Palacio, March 15, 1768, 

Gdlvez Victorious 169 

of colonial government, which required the closest intimacy with 
local conditions, was enough in itself to make readjustment of 
administration painfully tedious. When to this was added the 
fact that the measures contemplated by Galvez struck directly/ 
at the monopolies of colonial enterprises and commerce, which 
had their chief citadel in the Council of the Indies, it is clear that 
Charles III took the only available course when he decided upon 
the recall of Villalba and Cruillas. 81 

81 Joaquin Monserrat y Cruilles (Cruillas) was born at Valencia on 
August 27, 1700, of an old military family. As soon as he reached the 
age for field service he entered the regiment of Eeales Guardias Espanoles 
de Infanteria. Within a year he was promoted to the rank of ensign 
(alferez), and served his first campaign quelling insurrections in Vizcaya. 
In the War of the Spanish Succession Cruillas was present at the capitu- 
lation of Fuenterrabia, June 18, 1719. In that year he became second 
lieutenant. In 1720 he followed the campaign in Navarre. In 1721, in 
the campaign against the Moors of Ceuta, he took part in four general 
actions, at the end of the year being promoted to a lieutenancy. 

In 1727, during the five months' siege of Gibraltar, he served as first 
lieutenant of the Coronela company, the rank in that organization being 
equivalent to that of a captain or commander of a company. 

When in 1733 Frederick Augustus, king of Poland and elector of 
Saxony, died, Cruillas sailed with the fleet of twenty ships of the line 
which carried 16,000 men under the Marques de Montemar to Genoa. In 
the following year he was actively engaged in the campaign which re- 
sulted in the conquest of Sicily, and continued with Montemar in the 
ensuing campaign in Lombardy. He was made captain of guards in 
January, 1741. 

In 1745, in the battle of Campo Santo against the Austrians, he was 
made a brigadier. With this rank he fought in the campaigns which 
secured to the Infante Philip the ducal crown of Milan, and was present 
in the later disastrous campaigns under General Gages and the Marques 
de la Mina. 

For his services in the Italian campaigns Cruillas was granted enco- 
miendas in the military order of Montesa, in which he became a claviger. 
On March 21, 1735, he was made Marques de Cruilles by the King of 
Naples, later Charles III of Spain. 

In 1751, after thirty-three years of active military service, he was 
made military and political governor of Badajoz, retaining his rank as 
captain of guards. He served as governor until the end of February, 
1754. On the succeeding March 12 he was promoted to the rank of 
sargento mayor de guardias. 

On February 23, 1754, he had been nominated commandant general 
ad interim of Aragon. Later he was confirmed in proprietary tenure of 
the office, and served in it six years. 

Charles III, called to the throne of Spain, arrived at Madrid December 
9, 1759, and in the following May he named Cruillas viceroy of New Spain. 
The cedula of Charles appointing Cruillas viceroy speaks of the latter 's 

170 Galvez and Cruillas — The Tobacco Monopoly 

Assurance of prospective harmony in New Spain lay in the 
character of the new viceroy. "Writers who discuss the Marques 
de Croix rarely fail to mention his devotion to discipline, or to 
recall his custom of referring to the King as ' ' my master. ' ' De- 
votion to explicit command was the Fleming's chief pride. Croix 
said himself of his mission to America : 

This minister [Galvez] complained to the King that he was not able 
to fulfill his commission because he did not find in my predecessor the aid 
and support which he expected; this complaint was the cause of his 
Majesty's saying to me upon my departure that I should endeavor to aid 
Galvez in the affairs with which he was intrusted. Again, as I was 

title of mariscal de campo and of the zeal with which, as teniente coronel 
of the Spanish Infantry Guards, he had discharged his duties as com- 
mandant general of the kingdom of Aragon; it was accompanied by an- 
other like instrument permitting the new viceroy to appoint at will twelve 
officers of the government of New Spain. 

Cruillas embarked for his New World post on the ' ' Santiago, ' ' com- 
manded by Don Carlos Eeggio, on June 29, 1760. While on the voyage 
he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general. He took command 
of the viceroyalty on October 4, 1760. 

Effective peaceful administration was hampered by the menace of an 
attack upon Vera Cruz by the English, before whom Havana fell in 1762. 
Cruillas vigorously prepared for the defense. Sixty-six companies of 
infantry and fifty-nine of cavalry, totaling 8258 men, were enlisted and 
organized; a large hospital service was prepared and equipped. Cannon, 
mortars, armament, and uniforms were manufactured; over twenty million 
pesos were expended in preparation for the invasion, and satisfactorily 
accounted for afterward. 

The preparation proved merely precautionary. On February 23, 1763, 
the British frigate "Trent," Captain John Lindsay, arrived at Vera Cruz 
with news from Havana that peace negotiations were under way. The 
frigate was accompanied by the brigantine "Sally" and the packet 
"Keppell," both bearing merchandise for sale to the Mexicans; with such 
forehanded thrift did the English follow their war-won advantage. The 
viceroy's permission to land and sell the merchandise, and the conse- 
quences to him and to the fiscal, Velarde, have been mentioned in the 
body of the text. 

Cruillas, in spite of the disparagement of Galvez and his friends, was 
no doubt an efficient viceroy in comparison with many others of the series. 
He was sometimes dilatory in execution of orders; his conspicuous error 
of judgment in opposing the activities of Galvez was temperamental, the 
fruit of long years of military service in positions which gave him the 
habit of expecting instant acquiescence with his wishes. 

Having returned to Madrid at the end of his residencia, he remained 
at the capital to await the issue of that process. On February 6, 1768, 
he was exonerated of all charges brought against him, the Council of the 
Indies declaring that he had "punctually discharged all the obligations 

The New Viceroy's Policy 171 

embarking, Arriaga repeated to me the same injunction, saying that it 
was the desire of the King that I should maintain harmonious relations 
with the visitor, aiding him in his tasks. I endeavored, as was my obli- 
gation, to comply in this particular with the precepts of the King, giving 
the visitor such assistance as I could for putting into execution the meas- 
ures he has taken for the establishment and better government of the 
revenues. 82 

of his high office without the least shadow of blame, in a degree . . . 
corresponding to the confidence with which the King had imposed them 
upon him . . . and was worthy ... to be honored with still greater em- 
ployments, honors, and preferments. ' ' 

His residence at Madrid was terminated in March, 1771, when he re- 
ceived permission to repair to his natal city of Valencia, where he died 
after a brief illness on November 21, 1771, in the very room in which he 
had been born. His remains were buried in the family vaults in the 
Convento del Socorro, outside the walls of Valencia. In 1872, because of 
the destruction of the convent by fire, the body of the former viceroy was 
removed to the church of the village of Patraix (Biografia del Exmo Sr 
Teniente General Don Joaquin Monserrat y Cruilles, Valencia, 1880, passim). 

82 Croix, Instruction que . . . dejo, 88-5-13. "Le Vice-Eoi, conservant 
un obeissance passive aux ordres du Eoi qu'il appelait son maitre, aida 
avec efficacite Don Jose de Galvez dans l'imporlante mission qui lui 
avaient confiee les ministres de Charles III; mais il ne-faut pas croire 
qu 'il ne f ut qu 'un aveugle instrument du Visitador, et il sut remplir digne- 
ment la mission que son gouvernement lui avait confiee" (Correspondance, 
253, taken from M. Eivera, Los Gobernantes de Mexico, II, 407-421). 

' ' The general visitation of Galvez was very minute and profitable, but 
it is just to confess that its results would not have been so excellent with- 
out the patriotic zeal, irreproachable integrity, high intelligence, and great 
efficiency of . . . Croix ... of whom a foreign historian asserts that, 
upon leaving the command, instead of great riches, he brought to his 
country the admiration and applause of a grateful people, whom he made 
happy during his government" (Ferrer del Eio, Historia del Beinado de 
Carlos III, I, 459-60, quoting W. Eobertson, The History of America. London, 
1777, Book 8, pp. 433-4). 


It would be impossible to give, within proper limits, adequate 
attention to the processes of the visitation in each of the chief 
cities of the viceroyalty. The officials of real hacienda, suffice it 
to say for them generally, were made to give strict accounts of 
their stewardships. Many of them were removed under charges 
preferred by Galvez and his subdelegates ; all who remained were 
compelled by fear of consequences to conduct their offices to the 
increased advantage of the crown. But to follow their fortunes 
would be merely to recount the issue of so many trials for cor- 
rupt practices in office,Vwhereas the most important phase of 
the visitation was the constructive reform introduced in the 
cities where were situated the chief custom-houses, viz., Vera 
Cruz, Mexico, and Acapulco. In these cities the measures of 
Galvez were of distinct significance as being typical of those 
elsewhere taken, and were at the same time general in their 
effects upon fiscal affairs\ In the present chapter the reforms 
at Vera Cruz and Mexico will be studied ; those at Acapulco will 
be noticed in succeeding pages. 

By his instructions of March 14, 1765, Galvez was charged 
to ascertain what methods of collecting duties were in force at 
Vera Cruz, whether guias (itemized certificates of lading and 
destination) were given by the customs officials with all mer- 
chandise to be shipped inland, and whether such goods were 
stamped with the royal arms (si se marchamaban) , so that any 
unmarked goods could be seized as contraband. Specific direc- 
tions were also given the visitor as to his duties in inspecting 
the importations by the merchant fleet and by the single regis- 
tered vessels, the formalities differing in the two cases. If ex- 

Official Corruption 173 

isting regulations sufficed to protect crown interests, they were 
to be unchanged, but if administration was inefficient such new 
regulations as were deemed wise were to be recommended by 
Galvez to the viceroy, who was to give them the force of law 
pending royal approval. 1 

The visitation showed that the practices in customs collec- 
tions at Vera Cruz had been lax and corrupt for years. The 
custom-house was such merely in name ; the marchamo was not 
known in it, nor were other necessary precautions taken against 
smuggling. On the contrary, the treasury officials were found -^Jr 
to have been engaged in systematic robbery and connivance with 
merchants who wished to avoid payment of duties. The books 
of the subtreasury were in great disorder, sums that should have 
been found on deposit were missing ; in a word, it was patent that 
nothing short of complete reorganization would effect the pur- 
pose of the visitation. A plan for such reorganization was issued 
by decree of the visitor on February 11, 1767. It was entitled 
Instruction provisional para el arreglo en la administration y 
manejo de las rentas y derechos de su Majestad en la Nueva 
Ciudad de Vera Cruz. 2 

The salient features of the new plan provided : that customs 
duties should be taken under crown administration as fast as 
existing contracts for lease should expire ; the marchamo was / 
to be affixed to all goods shipped inland; vouchers or waybills 
{guias) were to be sent with all shipments, and receipts of de- 
livery (tornaguias) were to be returned to the custom-house, 
as precautions against smuggling. To remove the temptation 
to make false oaths, merchants were to pay the alcabala collected 

i Instruction reservada, arts. II-IX, XXXII, Appendix; for a notice 
of the commerce at Vera Cruz see Burke, An Account of the European 
Settlements in America, 176-179. 

2 "Provisional instruction for reform in the administration and man- 
agement of the rents and duties of his Majesty in the New City of Vera 
Cruz." This document is printed in Galvez, Informe General, 359-411, 
and in Fonseca and Urrutia, Historia General de Real Hacienda, TV, 614-661. 

174 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

at Vera Cruz upon entry instead of upon reshipment to the 
interior or to Spain. The rate was reduced from six to four 
per cent. The import duty on brandy, reduced from four to 
three pesos per barrel, was likewise to be collected at entry in- 
stead of upon reshipment. The reason for this change was that, 
under existing rules, the alcabala was avoided by the merchants 
on goods shipped inland under pretense that these were to be 
consumed in Vera Cruz, where no alcabala was assessed on local 
sales to the inhabitants. In actuality, then, the change effected 
a four per cent rise in the import duties, though it would have 
effected a reduction of one-third if previous practice had been to 
observe the customs laws. 

This provisional plan was put into operation before the com- 
pletion of the legal processes which had been brought against 
the officials of the treasury and custom-house of Vera Cruz as 
the result of investigations begun by Cruillas in 1762, and had 
been continued by the subdelegates of Galvez during 1766. When 
charges were preferred against the officials they were suspended 
from their positions, and new ones suggested by Galvez were 
appointed. These officials were intrusted with the initiation 
of the new plan. As a preliminary to the reorganization, a 
proclamation was issued on March 16, 1767, commanding all 
merchants in Vera Cruz to appear in person at the custom-house 
and make sworn statements of all goods on hand. If they wished, 
they might pay three per cent to satisfy the alcabala on all goods 
on hand on which they had not paid the six per cent alcabala 
required by the previously existing system, under the provisions 
of which they had been permitted to take goods out of the 
custom-house, paying no alcabala on what they sold in Vera 
Cruz, but six per cent on any goods shipped inland. Under 
that system it had been the usage to accept the sworn statements 
of merchants as to what goods were sold for consumption in 
Vera Cruz and what were shipped inland; the result was that 

The Struggle Begins 175 

fraud was committed by pretense that much merchandise actu- 
ally shipped to the interior was consumed at the port. Under 
the new proclamation, goods upon which three per cent had been 
paid might then be shipped to any interior point without any 
further payment. If the payment of three per cent was not 
made before April 1, upon which date the new system was to 
go into effect, all goods existing on hand would later be assessed 
at the rate of four per cent. 

The merchants of Vera Cruz took immediate issue with the 
plan of Galvez. On March 30 they sent a petition (escrito) to 
the consulado of Mexico, asking that body to make representa- 
tion of their case before the viceroy. They alleged that the new 
system (which provided for collection of the alcabala at entry 
of goods instead of upon their sale) was contrary to law, as the 
alcabala was a duty presupposing for its collection the actual 
sale of goods, and was not to be collected twice on the same sale. 
Two collections would happen if the tax were paid upon entry 
of goods not sold but trans-shipped to a destination in the in- 
terior for first sale, where the alcabala would again be collected 
at six per cent. Neither did they think that it was just that the 
new system, which was really modeled upon that in use in 
Mexico, should be employed at Vera Cruz ; for while the alcabala 
was collected at Mexico upon entry, the reason was that goods 
received there were for presumptive sale. But when goods came 
into Mexico consigned to other interior custom-houses they 
paid no alcabala, being subjected to the impost only at their 

The consulado, in presenting the petition of the Vera Cruz 
merchants to the viceroy on May 16, approved their prayer to 
be freed from the alcabala on goods at entry and added, by way 
of argument, that in other principal custom-houses, as at Puebla 
and Oaxaca, goods sent thither in transit were left at the custom- 
house until it suited the owners to remove them ; and no alcabala 

176 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

was collected on goods thence reshipped to other points. At 
Vera Cruz, on the other hand, goods could not be left in the 
custom-house, as the volume of trade was too great to be accom- 
modated, but had to be stored by the merchants until ready to 
be reshipped to the interior. 3 

, To the petition of the consulado Croix and Galvez made reply 
that the Instruccion provided that duty should not be paid on 
goods in bona fide transit, but on all goods actually resold for 
shipment at Vera Cruz. 4 As the administrator of revenues, 
Pedro Antonio Cosio, continued to collect the alcaoala on all 
goods, irrespective of destination, and in spite of explicit orders 
not to collect it on goods in transit, the consulado appealed their 
case to Arriaga. 5 That minister referred the matter to the 
contador general, Tomas Ortiz de Landazuri, and to the Council 
of the Indies. The contador urgently proposed that the measures 
of Galvez should be disapproved, and that the commercial regu- 
lations of New Spain should be returned to the status existing 
before those measures had been taken. The Council on Febru- 
ary 10, 1768, concurred in the opinion of the contador. Galvez 
and Croix were then called upon by the king to defend their 
action. The consideration of the projected reform continued for 
a period of three years, during which an appalling heap of 
official documents was piled up. The final stage was reached 
when, on March 3, 1769, the entire evidence in the case was 
referred to the civil and criminal fiscals of the Council of Castile. 
The fiscals of Castile at that time were Pedro Rodriguez 
Campomanes and Jose Moiiino, men who were already prominent 
in Spain, who had been active in the expulsion of the Jesuits in 
1767, and who later occupied higher posts in the administrative 
system of Charles III. Campomanes, distinguished author and 

s Consulado of Mexico to the viceroy, Mexico, May 16, 1767, 88-5-25. 

4 Galvez to Croix, Mexico, May 22; Galvez to Arriaga, Mexico, May 
27, 1767; 88-5-25. 

5 Consulado to Arriaga, Mexico, May 27, 1767, 88-5-25. 

Informe of the Fiscals of Castile 177 

economist, became governor of the Council of Castile, and Mo- 
frino, better known as Count Floridablanca, was first minister of 
state during the brightest period of the reign of Charles III. 
With these two was associated, for the purpose of rendering a 
decision in the Vera Cruz reforms, Pedro de Leon y Escandon ; 
after a long illness which delayed the decision, Leon died before 
the report was completed, and the two fiscals made their investi- 
gation and rendered their opinion without other help, on April 
20, 1771. 6 

This Informe is the most important documentary source ex- 
tant for the subject under consideration. It considers the ob- 
jections raised by the commercial interests, whose stronghold 
was the Council of the Indies, to the reforms of Galvez, and 
affirms the utility of these reforms in toto. We might content 
ourselves with a bare statement of the changes produced by this 
vindication of Galvez were it not for the fact that the detailed 
study sheds interesting light upon the struggle which was neces- 
sary to obtain the administrative and commercial betterment 
which Charles III desired for his people and which Galvez was 
commissioned to secure for New Spain. How firmly the spirit 
of commercial privilege, conservatism, even dishonesty, clung to 
its opposition to the economic enlightenment of the ministry of 
Charles is objectively demonstrated in the type of complaints 
made by the Council of the Indies. 

That body made three categorical objections to the Instruc- 
tion provisional, and two to other measures affecting the com- 
merce of New Spain but not included in the Instruction. The 
objections to the Instruction were: (1) that the guia, tornaguia, 
and the marchamo were unnecessary and illegal trammels upon 
commerce, and that by imposing them Galvez had exceeded and 
ignored his specific instructions; (2) that the collection of the 

s Informe de los senores Campomanes y Monino sobre el nuevo metodo 
para la administration de real hacienda y otros puntos, que estaolecio el visi- 
tador, Don Jose de Galvez, MS, 88-5-25. 

178 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

alcabala at the time of entry instead of at the time of the sale 
of goods was unwarranted by law and unjust to the commercial 
interests ; (3) that the union of collection of duties in the custom- 
house was confusing to the accounts of the treasury, that powers 
given to the governor of Vera Cruz to intervene as judge-pro- 
tector (juez conservador) in the affairs of the treasury were 
illegal, and that other details of administration were vexatious 
and unnecessary. Opposition to the other measures proposed 
for Vera Cruz declared (4) that permission to export European 
goods from Vera Cruz to Campeche, Yucatan, and the "Windward 
Islands was unlawful and injurious to commerce; and (5) that 
reduction of the wine and flour duties at Vera Cruz, which had 
been used to maintain the fortifications at San Juan de Ulloa, 
was harmful to commerce and without legal sanction. Submit- 
ting the above contentions on February 10, 1768, the Council of 
the Indies prayed that the measures of Galvez be set aside, and 
that commerce be restored to its status before the visitor had 
intervened in it. In the remainder of this chapter the five 
objections above will be considered seriatim, with the rebuttal 
offered by the fiscals of Castile, in the form and order of their 

1. Objections to the gma, tornaguia, and marchamo. — The 
first complaint, directed against the acts of Galvez, was confined 
to his measures for Vera Cruz and Mexico, though there were 
hints of trouble from the same causes at Oaxaca and Guada- 
lajara. The merchants protested that the guia required them 
to show their bills of goods setting forth the contents, prices, 
and marks of all packages to be shipped before they could re- 
ceive a permit to import. This was a troublesome and illegal 
innovation, said the consulado of Mexico. But Galvez showed in 
his representation 7 that the consulado itself did the identical 
thing at the time of the Jalapa fairs for the purpose of collecting 

7 Galvez to Arriaga, Mexico, May 27, 1767, 88-5-25. 

Characterized as Illegal 179 

the one-sixth per cent averia which the King allowed for the sup- 
port of their organization. At the fair begun October 21, 1765, 
which Galvez had attended officially, the bills of lading presented 
to the deputies of the consulado for the averia, when contrasted 
with the books of the custom-house at Mexico, showed that 
averia had been paid to the consulado on goods which had escaped 
the alcabala due the crown to the amount of 25,967 pesos during 
the first two months only of the fair. The same kind of evasion 
had doubtless continued during the remainder of the fair, as 
the investigations of the visitation were tending to prove. It 
would thus appear that the requirement of bills of lading in 
detail was essential to prevent fraud to the treasury. But the 
requirement was not an innovation in the regulations of the gov- 
ernment, at least in theory, for in 1758 the viceroy Amarillas 
had been ordered to administer the alcabala at Vera Cruz on the 
same basis as that in vogue at Mexico, where bills of lading were 
required, and Cruillas in 1761 had intrusted to Domingo Tres- 
palacios the formation of ordinances for Vera Cruz which con- 
tained the same provision concerning bills of lading as were re- 
quired by Galvez. The ordinances at that time formed had not, 
however, been rigorously enforced. 

The second complaint of illegality made by the consulado was 
against the tornaguia required of merchants shipping to the 
interior from Mexico. The tornaguia was an acknowledgment 
from the recipient that the goods mentioned in the guia had been 
delivered at the declared destination; it was required that it 
be returned within a reasonable time, barring accidents. The 
consulado claimed that no such requirement had been exacted 
since the days of the Conquest, and that it was even contrary to 
the ordinances issued by Revillagigedo in 1753, which had re- 
quired the tornaguia of the muleteers who transported the goods, 
but not of the merchants who received them. The merchants 
of Mexico generally sold their wares in the interior on credit, 

180 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

and it was therefore subjecting them to a double risk to demand 
that they should be held responsible for tomaguias from their 
correspondents on goods transported by the means of unknown 
and unreliable muleteers. Even to require the tomaguias of the 
muleteers was an imposition, as they could not always find guar- 
antors to sign the documents for them. To this plea the answer 
of Galvez was that such a receipt was essential to prevent smug- 
gling. 8 For otherwise there was nothing to hinder the delivery 
of goods in the interior direct to purchasers without passing 
them through the interior custom-houses or without having them 
assessed at their true value. The consulado of Mexico had itself 
experienced the same difficulty when it had leased the alcabala 
of Mexico, and as early as 1735 had required certificates of de- 
livery from the muleteers who carried goods inland. 

The third complaint of illegality made by the consulado was 
against the requirement of the marchamo, or stamp of the royal 
arms, on packages to be imported to the interior. The merchants 
particularly desired that this regulation be relaxed on goods 
shipped from one interior custom-house to another. But Galvez 
showed that this was just where the greatest fraud was com- 
mitted, as foreign goods (dutiable) were often transported under 
color of local goods (non-dutiable) for the sake of avoiding 
duties. The command of the King was that all goods imported 
by single ships should have the marchamo affixed, 9 but Galvez 
had modified the regulation, simply requiring the mark on the 
packages and not on the contents thereof; beyond that he could 
not relieve the merchants of the royal requirement. How essen- 
tial were the restrictions which he had placed upon commerce he 
attempted to show by recounting the results of his investigations. 
These proved that it had been the continuous practice to avoid 
duties at Mexico through connivance with the treasury officials. 

« See below, p. 200, and note 38. 
9 See above, p. 172. 

Upheaval in Business Alleged 181 

Fraud was so rampant in the usual avenues of business that 
Galvez asserted that he had only found two merchants in Vera 
Cruz who were guiltless of it ; in Mexico and Puebla he doubted 
if he would find as many as four who were blameless. 10 

The prevalence of "graft" in the custom-house of Mexico 
wrs shown by the charges brought by Galvez on November 12, 
1766. Francisco Guitian, the appraiser, who was a son-in-law 
of the superintendent of the custom-house, had connived during 
October with merchants who took seventy barrels of brandy out 
of the custom-house, representing that they were to be shipped 
to Queretaro, whereas they /were in fact consumed in Mexico. 
In this and similar frauds Guitian was assisted by the guard 
Labado, and both had shared in the money paid by the mer- 
chants for collusion in the deception. In 1765, when Galvez had 
hardly begun his visitation, many scores of barrels of liquors, 
boxes of merchandise, etc., were taken out of the custom-house 
and consumed in Mexico without paying duty, the method of 
defrauding being to emit false letters of destination and to alter 
the records of the books. 

The effort of the visitor to check such wholesale malfeasance 
in office had produced, said the contador Landazuri, conditions 
worse than those for which remedy was sought. 

The damage and havoc which are being wrought in the viceroyalty of 
New Spain by the innovations mentioned, and by the measures taken for the 
direction, collection, and management of the royal revenues, are already 
so apparent and real that they are notorious. ... I have recently re- 
ceived letters from the officials of the treasury who are men of authority 
. . . and of intelligent character in New Spain, as well as from others of 
impartial mind . . . which inform me that owing to the new change and 
the confusion of the government and the management of the royal ex- 
chequer, with the abolition of the old method and the failure to observe 
the laws under the new, the coinage of money has greatly decreased; the 
mines have fallen off in production by one-third, and commerce is suffering 
a similar setback from the imposition of a four per cent increase in the 

io Galvez to Arriaga, Mexico, May 27, 1767, 88-5-25. 

182 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

duties at Vera Cruz under the name of the alcdbala, with great increase 
of red tape in its collection, the innovation reducing business to a most 
decadent and miserable condition. n 

Landazuri could not or would not give the names of his 
informants; nor would the consulado of Mexico, the consulado 
of Cadiz, which joined in the general protest, nor the Council of 
the Indies, cite their authorities for the above statements, in 
which they all concurred. The fiscals of Castile therefore thought 
that these vague accusations were unworthy of consideration. 
No more worthy was the statement of the superintendent of the 
mint at Mexico that coinage there had dropped 170,000 pesos 
during the first half of 1767, for no further statement of any 
such decline in business had been made by that officer up to the 
date of the Informe by the fiscals, April 20, 1771. 12 

Another interesting point brought up by Landazuri was 
warmly denied by the fiscals of Castile. This was the charge 
that the viceroy, Croix, had fallen completely under the influence 
and control of Galvez, even to the extent of copying his material, 
order, and style in his representations and reports. Monino and 
Campomanes found, for instance, that in Croix's letter of May 
25, 1767, written with his own hand, he had confined himself to 
recommending the rectitude and good intentions of the visitor, 
stating that the measures of Galvez were taken with his appro- 
bation after conference, and that hatred for Galvez was felt only 
by those who had reason to fear his justice. 13 On the other hand, 
they found that the letter of Galvez dated the 27th of the same 
month was very diffuse, answering all complaints of the consulado 
in detail, there being little similarity of style or content between 
the two letters. 14 It is undeniable, however, that the practice 
of Croix was to conform in spirit with the wishes of Galvez, and 

n Tomas Ortiz de Landazuri, Informe, Madrid, December 22, 1767, 

i 2 It is shown in Chapter X of this work that there was no appreciable 
decline in the coinage at this period. 

13 Croix to Arriaga, May 25, 1767, 88-5-25. 

14 Galvez to Arriaga, May 27, 1767, 88-5-25. 

Transformation of Administration 183 

many of his letters, not cited by the fiscals, show that the point 
raised by Landazuri was not without foundation. Indeed, it 
was because of this characteristic that he was chosen as viceroy 
to succeed Cruillas. 15 

Other complaints from merchants of Mexico and Cadiz were 
in the form of objections to the Instruction provisional of Feb- 
ruary 11, 1767, which they characterized as causing unnecessary 
and illegal changes in methods of administration at Vera Cruz. 
A copy of this Instruction Galvez sent to Madrid on February 
27, 1767, after he had paid two distinct visits to Vera Cruz for 
the investigation of conditions there. He had received, as has 
elsewhere been stated, the record of the investigation made by 
Cruillas beginning in 1762, and he had acquired from his own 
dependents sufficient information to warrant him in suspending 
the factor of the cajas reales, the proprietary treasurer, that 
officer's lieutenant (who was also his son), the notary, and the 
accountants. Galvez also determined to establish an efficient 
custom-house, in which should be administered by treasury offi- 
cials all the branches of the public rents which were not leased 
out under contracts not yet expired. 

The consulta of the Council of the Indies of February 10, 
1768, recommending that the Instruction should be annulled was 
based upon the statement by Landazuri 10 that he found in the 
plan of Galvez no actually expressed violations of the funda- 
mental laws, but that his measures were all directed to the com- 
plete transformation of the administration of real hacienda in 
New Spain and its reorganization according to the system in 

is^Mon oncle [Croix] est craint et aime du peu d'honnetes gens de 
ce pays; il y a pres de lui un visiteur general, envoye par le Roi pour 
surveiller la eonduite de tous ceux employes dans ce pays, sauf le Vice- 
Roi, qu'il doit consulter avant de rien decider. C'est un honnete homme, 
habile, et qui s'entend bien avec mon oncle, car ils sont hommes de bien 
tous deux et bons serviteurs de leur maitre" (Teodoro de Croix, letter, 
Acapulco, January 17, 1766, Correspondance, 204; cf. A. Cavo, Los Tres 
Siglos de Mexico, 314. 

islnforme, October 16, 1767, 88-5-25. 

184 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

force in the Peninsula. 17 To this end Galvez had seized upon the 
disorders and frauds discovered at Vera Cruz as offering an 
excuse for which there was no adequate justification for abolish- 
ing the old system. The principal irregularity in the cajas reales 
was a deficit of 15,000 pesos, which might have been due, thought 
Landazuri, to any one of a possible number of legitimate ad- 
vances of funds. If it were due to other reasons the proper 
course would have been for Galvez to discharge those who were 
guilty. But if the trouble were due to the nature of the regu- 
lations in force, the officers should not have been suspended nor 
made to bear the blame for the effect of regulations which they 
could not change. 

The attempt of Landazuri to explain away the evidences of 
corruption among the officials at Vera Cruz was decidedly lame, 
as we shall see. Galvez had been obliged to arrest the factor, 
Felipe Placido Bravo, because he had made away with the day- 
books in which were kept the accounts of the duties collected on 
brandy, indigo, and vanilla — funds in which scandalous malver- 
sation had been previously detected. The investigations by the 
viceroy Cruillas, begun in 1762, concerning brandy shipments 
inland during the years 1759, 1760, and 1761, showed that there 
had been notable loss of duty payments during that time. In 

1759 the number of barrels which escaped duty was 5041 ; the 
duty at four pesos per barrel would have been 20,164 pesos. In 

1760 the loss was 41,836 pesos, and in 1761 it was 17,758 pesos. 
Thus in three years alone the frauds in the brandy tariff 
amounted to 79,758 pesos. This loss was estimated by making 
a comparison between the guias and cartas de envio (waybills) 
of the consulado and the books of the treasury officials. The 
investigation attempting to fix the personal responsibility for 
these frauds was still in process when Galvez arrived for his 
visitation in 1765. 18 

17 Campomanes and Mofiino, Informe, art. 61. 
is Ibid., art. 81. 

Dishonest Revenue Officials 185 

The disclosure of this condition led Galvez to make investi- 
gations covering the period 1745-1765 ; from these it was shown 
that in all probability 79,667 barrels of brandy had escaped duty, 
entailing a loss to real hacienda of 318,669 pesos during the 
twenty years. The evidence was confused, however, by the re- 
markable fact that in the years 1745, 1756, and 1758 there had 
been duty paid on a greater number of barrels than had been 
accounted for by the guias of the consulado. Discounting the 
amount of loss by 58,376 pesos, which represented the discrep- 
ancy in the accounts of the above three years, it still appeared 
that the loss to the treasury was over 260,000 pesos. Landazuri 
attempted to account for the disappearance of so many thousand 
barrels of brandy by suggesting that they must have been con- 
sumed in Vera Cruz, and hence would not show on the books at 
Mexico; but Campomanes and Moiiino thought it more likely 
that the brandy had really left Vera Cruz without reaching 
Mexico, or had been entered at the latter custom-house as wine, 
in order to enjoy the lower tariff conceded to that article. It 
would have been quite possible, by either method, tp have cheated 
the customs at Mexico without having left any record of fraud 
at Vera Cruz. 

The books of the treasury officials showed that suspicious 
corrections and erasures had frequently been made ; some of the 
entries were proved to have been falsified by comparing them 
with the books of the merchants concerned. It also appeared 
from the testimony taken in the hearings of the treasurj^ officials 
that still other losses in the branches of the wine, cochineal, 
indigo, and vanilla revenues had deprived the treasury of at 
least 71,000 pesos during the twenty years from 1745 to 1765. 
One witness, who had been employed in the treasury at Vera 
Cruz since 1749, testified that he estimated the frauds at 9000 
pesos per annum. Much of this sum was used by the treasury 
officials to pay their unsalaried assistants. The fund kept for 

186 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

that purpose was colloquially known as the cochino de Vera 
Cruz — "the Vera Cruz pig." 

The trials of the treasury officials disclosed the fact that they 
had established a system of illegal levies upon the commerce of 
the port for their own benefit. Every ship from Caracas or 
Maracaibo made a present of one hundred pounds of cacao to 
each official, and two hundred pounds to the governor. Every 
ship from Spain gave each official a barrel of wine, twenty-five 
pounds of olive oil, and a quantity of provisions, such as raisins, 
almonds, cheese, codfish, olives, capers, and the like. Every ship 
from Campeche gave two hundred pounds of salt to each official, 
to the governor, the notary, and the officer of the guard ; to each 
of six subordinate guards fifty pounds of salt were given, and 
from two hundred to six hundred pounds were contributed to 
the "pig". Oftentimes a money contribution was made in lieu 
of these gifts. 

In addition, every ship from Caracas, Maracaibo, Santo Do- 
mingo, or Havana had to pay eighty-four pesos four reals ; sixty 
pesos were for the treasury officials, and the remainder went to 
the officer of the guard. Every vessel from Campeche had to 
pay forty-four pesos, which were similarly divided, and nine 
pesos for the "pig". Nine pesos were charged every vessel for 
clearance papers, the same amount for every accounting of the 
half annats paid by the crew, four reals for registry of the cargo, 
four pesos for the declaration of the master, four reals for licenses 
to trade in the Windward Islands, ten pesos for certificates to 
muleteers who brought goods to Vera Cruz on the King's account, 
four pesos for every certificate of money paid in or out of the 
treasury, etc. 19 

The accused officials also confessed that upon the arrival of 
the merchant fleets or single ships, every morning and afternoon 
while the cargoes were being discharged they were given in the 

Lo Campomanes and Monino, art. 144. 

Old Laws Invoked 187 

hall of the accounting house an abundant refreshment of wines, 
brandies, and light foods. The allegations of failures to collect 
duties and of accepting bribes were too numerous to recount. 
The legal practice of making allowance on liquors for leakage in 
transit across the ocean had also been abused ; one witness of the 
visitation declared that he had seen leakage (merma) allowed at 
one-tenth (the legal rate), at one-eighth, or one-ninth, or even 
upon occasion at one-third, the variations depending upon what 
kind of an understanding the customs officers had with the im- 
porters. 20 Delay in paying duties from one year to another, or 
even for longer periods, had become so prevalent that one of the 
customs guards, who came to be called the collector (cobrador) , 
was especially detailed for the collection of delinquent customs 
accounts. 21 Whether measures to correct these conditions were 
necessary or not may safely be left to the reader to decide. The 
legality of the means adopted was affirmed by the fiscals of 
Castile, as will appear later. » 

2. Objections to the new duties at Vera Cruz. — Issue was 
raised by the consulado of Mexico as to the legality of the order 
to collect the alcabala on cargoes of single ships at entry instead 
of at sale of goods, as had previously been done. The Council of 
the Indies and Landazuri objected to the new method because the 
alcabala was in effect made an added, import duty of four, and, 
after April 1, 1768, of three per cent. To levy such a duty was 
in contravention of the Real Proyecto of April 18, 1720, wherein 
it was provided that duties on exports and imports were all to 
be paid at Cadiz, and no import or export duties should be levied 
in the ports of America. 22 Furthermore, the laws of the Indies 
provided 23 that no duty should be levied in American ports with- 
out a cedula of the king commanding it. The idea that the new 

20 Campomanes and Mofiino, art. 186. 
2i Ibid., art. 190. 

22 See above, p. 24. 

2 3 Becopilacion, ley 41, tit. 15, lib. 8. 

188 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

alcdbala at Vera Cruz was an added import duty was supported 
by the definitions of the laws of Castile and of the Indies, which 
designated the alcdbala as a duty payable upon the sale of goods. 
The Vera Cruz alcdbala was later distinguished from the interior 
alcdbala under the designation alcdbala de mar. 

Croix defended the new levy at Vera Cruz by showing that 
the collection of the alcdbala at entry of goods had been estab- 
lished by law for the ports of Cartagena and Porto Bello ; hence 
it was unlikely that a royal cedula would be needed to extend 
the regulation to another American port. Especially was this 
true when it was remembered that goods sold within the limits 
of Vera Cruz paid but the one alcdbala, and that at entry alone. 
Goods would of course pay another alcdbdla on second sale, but 
this would not occur if they were sent in bona fide transit only, 
and not for sale before reshipment. 24 

Furthermore, it was objected by the contaduria de Indias 
and the consulado of Cadiz that the duty was collected on goods 
in transit, in spite of the decree of Galvez to the contrary. The 
administrator at Vera Cruz not only collected the duty but re- 
fused to give receipts for amounts paid, or other memoranda 
whereby the merchants could make appeal to the courts for re- 
imbursement. 25 Galvez, in a decree dated October 22, 1767, 
directed that the merchants of Spain should be notified that 
goods to be sent through Vera Cruz for sale in the interior would 
have to be accompanied by sworn statements to that effect made 
at the time of shipment from Spain. It was perhaps due to the 
necessary lapse of time before this order could be known and 
obeyed that attempts were made to pass goods through without 
vouchers of proper origin. The In forme of the fiscals of Castile 
mentions no complaints on this score other than those which 
were made by the merchants of New Spain when Cosio first took 

24 Croix to Arriaga, Mexico, September 28, 1768, 88-5-25. 

25 Consulado of Mexico to the viceroy, October 26, 1767, 88-5-25. 

The New System Initiated 189 

his position at Vera Cruz — at which time goods sent in or out of 
the viceroy alty had to pay the new alcabala regardless of whether 
they were sold at Vera Cruz or not. The fiscals recommended 
that goods should not have to pay the duty if they were merely 
in transit. It is of course patent that the habitual method of 
avoiding the alcabala at Vera Cruz was to pretend that goods 
were in transit to consignees when they were actually sold in 
that port, as most of the goods shipped through were. How 
admirably adapted the alcabala was for the discouragement of 
honesty is apparent throughout each step of the controversy, as 
is the fact that if it was to be collected at all the most efficient 
method was that chosen by Galvez — a plan which virtually added 
the alcabala to the other maritime duties, and made of it an 
import duty instead of a mere impost on sales. 

Still another objection to the new system was aimed at the 
method whereby it was to be inaugurated. Articles 101 and 102 
of the Instruction provisional provided that the Vera Cruz mer- 
chants were to render sworn statements of goods on hand at the 
end of March, 1767, and pay four per cent on these, at their own 
valuation. If they did not do so, they would later" have to pay 
six per cent. The bando published by Cosio modified this regu- 
lation in favor of the merchants by making the rate three per 
cent if paid in advance of the installation of the new system and 
allowing import to the interior of all goods which had satisfied 
the duty, without further charges. Though this was the earliest 
objection by the merchants of Vera Cruz, raised in the spring of 
1767, the fiscals of Castile had no information in the spring of 
1771 as to whether the merchants had availed themselves of the 
lower rate, or had been obliged later to pay the higher one. 26 

How determined was Landazuri's opposition to the plan of 
Galvez is shown by the fact that he even attacked the legality of 
the reduction of the alcabala from six to four per cent, in spite 

26 Campomanes and Monino, art. 251. 

190 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

of the benefit this would bring to those honest merchants he was 
supposedly defending. Galvez and Croix replied that the col- 
lectors of customs at Vera Cruz had habitually effected such a 
reduction by appraising imports at two-thirds their value. This 
was shown to be the case by the visitation of the seaport. The 
officials there justified the practice by saying that if they had 
not done so the goods would have been sent through on consign- 
ment and the treasury would have received nothing. In view of 
the circumstances, Galvez had thought best to make a virtue of 
necessity by legalizing the actual practice. 

The fiscals of the Council of the Indies raised objections to 
article 108 of the Instruccion provisional, which provided that a 
six per cent alcabala should be collected on goods shipped out of 
Vera Cruz to other American ports. This, they said, was unjust 
to shippers, as it increased the cost of selling goods. They also 
objected to articles 118 and 121, which provided that the produce 
of ecclesiastical estates which had been purchased or leased (i.e., 
which were not part of the original ecclesiastical dotation) should 
be subject to the alcabala upon sale. This measure was directed 
against excessive importation of cacao by churchmen under pre- 
tense that the lands upon which the cacao was raised were a part 
of the original estates of the bodies from which they purchased. 

By article 8 of a concordat celebrated in 1737 between the 
crown of Spain and the Holy See it was provided that ecclesi- 
astical communities (las manos muertas) should not acquire, 
without submission of the case to the royal tribunals, other prop- 
erty than that of their original foundations. This article of the 
concordat was not, however, extended to the Indies nor observed 
in them. The action of Galvez in obliging the ecclesiastical bodies 
to pay alcabala on produce of their lands acquired later than the 
original foundation was in accord with the provisions of Trespa- 
lacios for the administration of the alcabala in Mexico in 1758, 
and it was later upheld by royal decree of December 29, 1780. 
The regulation provided also that private estates of ecclesiastics 

Alcabala on Indian Trade 191 

should be governed by the same principle. Under the Vera Cruz 
regulations initiated by Galvez, all churchmen were required also 
to make sworn statements of all their importations for personal 
or religious use, and if the importations were excessive in amount 
they were obliged to pay alcabala on the excess. 27 

It is evident from the tone of the Instruction provisional that 
Galvez found a thrifty trade carried on by the clergy under 
color of their ecclesiastical immunity from taxation. He wrote 
repeatedly of the difficulty he experienced in obliging these 
people to fulfill their obligations to the royal treasury. 28 

The fiscals of the Indies also noted that article 123 of the 
Instruction provisional commanded collection of the alcabala 
from Indians on goods sold in the regular channels of business, 
whereas the laws of the Indies specified that the natives should 
pay no alcabala on the fruits of their labors. The fiscals of 
Castile replied that the collection of alcabala from Indians on 
their sales of European and Asiatic goods had already been or- 
dered by the ordinances of Mexico by Trespalacios. Such a 
regulation was necessary to prevent the business of the interior 
from being placed to an appreciable extent in fhe hands of 
Indians, in order to avoid the alcabala. It was especially recom- 
mended by Galvez that in collecting the alcabala no extortion 
should be practiced on the Indians, as they were the special 
objects of compassion. 

The fiscals of Castile found unequivocal ground for ex- 
pressing the opinion that the methods of preventing smuggling 
adopted by Galvez were not to be justly characterized as inno- 
vations (novedades), a term of reproach which their opponents 
applied to them. They were rather to be called substantial, 

27 Article 143 of the ordinance of the intendants, 1786, embodied the 
same principles, which were tested in a case in 1792, upon the occasion of 
the sale by the convent of Jesus Maria in Mexico of a house which it had 
bought in 1727. In 1801 the superior junta of real hacienda voted an 
acuerdo which declared that the alcabala should be collected on this sale 
(Bodriguez de San Miguel, Pandectas Hispano-Mcgicanas, III, No. 5349). 

28 See below, p. 352. 

192 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

reasonable precautions, supplanting prior useless regulations. 
That this was a fact might be seen by contrasting the method 
introduced by Galvez with the earlier usage. Under that usage, 
goods sent inland from Vera Cruz under a waybill or manifest 
{carta de envio, the plan so highly lauded by the merchants) 
had to go through five preliminary steps. First, they were in- 
spected by a commissary of guias employed by the consulado of 
Mexico to collect the alcabala at Vera Cruz. That officer then 
gave the guia, noting the fact in the manifest. The goods were 
then taken before the treasury officials, in case any other duty 
was collectable, who affixed* their certificate that such duty had 
been paid. Then the administrator or the lessee, as the case 
might be, of the alcabala at Vera Cruz, had to collect that duty 
and certify to the collection. The averia had then to be collected, 
and, finally, the guards at the exit of the custom-house had to 
make their inspection, and in certain cases collect the portazgo 
or almirantazgo (import duty). These formalities, if they were 
observed, took place in five or six different offices. If, as was 
often the case, they were not observed at all, then they were 
useless formalities. 

In contrast, the Galvez method reduced all these requirements 
to a single operation conducted within the walls of the custom- 
house at the time the goods entered, saving time and labor, and 
actually conserving the interests of the treasury. 

3. Objections to administrative changes by Galvez. — It is 
now worth while to examine the organization of the local admin- 
istration of real hacienda established by Galvez. The objections 
of the Council of the Indies to this organization were based on 
the conception that the union of all branches of real hacienda 
in the custom-house was illegal, as it caused confusion of the 
accounts of the several branches, and divided the responsibility 
of the treasury officials. 29 

29 Campomanes and Monino, arts. 63-64. 

Functions of Treasury Officials 193 

Under the old system of administration provided by the laws 
of the Indies, the officers of a subtreasury (caja real) were three 
— the factor, the accountant, and the treasurer. Under the 
Galvez regulations they were the same, except that the factor 
was called an administrator, the change being in name only. 
Under both systems these officers were reciprocally responsible 
for the entire management of the subtreasury, and had in each 
case to give the same bonds. In conjunction with the governor 
of Vera Cruz, the officials of that port were ordered to open all 
letters and dispatches, to hold a meeting once each week with 
the governor, and keep formal minutes of all business transacted. 
The officers who were in charge at Vera Cruz prior to the visi- 
tation of Galvez confessed that they had neglected to observe the 
requirements in these respects. Although they were charged 
with joint responsibility, each officer had individual duties which 
were prescribed by law. Under the new regulations these re 
sponsibilities were specified with great minuteness. The Council 
of the Indies objected to the manner in which these functions 
had been distributed, and also to the fact that the treasury 
officials had been given administration not only of the alcabala 
but of several other branches of the revenues. Conservatory 
jurisdiction over the royal rents had been confided to the gov- 
ernor, and he had been given a small additional salary for this 
work. Distribution of fines for smuggling had been made by 
fourth-part shares, instead of third-part shares, as previously. 
Also, an additional number of customs guards had been provided, 
occasioning increased expense in salaries. 

The point was raised that Galvez had committed to the ad- 
ministrator the accounting for all funds of the treasury, and that 
to him was conceded all the authority concerning collections, 
contrary to the law, which provided that this authority should 
be shared by all the officials. The objectors failed to see that 
this function, like that of the care of property, provision and 

194 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

nomination of guards, payment of salaries and other incidental 
expenses, was not granted to the administrator independently, 
but in conjunction with the treasurer and the accountant ; the 
governor himself even had the faculty of intervening in all these 
affairs. Thus the administrator had to attend to collections and 
remind debtors of their obligations, but payments of sums due 
had to be made to the treasurer, with the intervention of the 
accountant. So also in paying out money all three officers had 
a share in the responsibility. Each one had to keep a separate 
account book, in addition to the general one, and each one had to 
be present when funds were taken out or put into the coffers 
(cajas) . 30 They were required in their weekly meetings to re- 
mind each other of any points of procedure which needed calling 
to attention. They were all obliged to sign the monthly balance- 
sheet which was sent to the superintendent of real hacienda (the 
viceroy), showing the exact state of each fund according to their 
books. This duty compelled them to have reciprocal knowledge 
of all business transacted. 31 

A nicer point was raised against the new power conceded to 
the administrator to disburse funds for ordinary expenses with- 
out the concurrence of the other officials. The laws of the Indies 
obliged all of them to be present, whether there were four, three, 
or two officials, and each of them was to keep a separate account 
of all transactions. It was the requirement that the strong box 
had to be kept in the casa real, in which the senior officer must 
reside. Rigidly construed, the prescribed procedure necessitated 
daily and even hourly attendance of all the officials and the 
notary; this would have interfered seriously with their proper 
functions, particularly at so busy a place as Vera Cruz. Hence 
it had become the practice of the treasurer to have a confidential 

30 Instruction provisional, art. 32. 

31 These provisions of the Instruction were in conformity with ley 5, 
titulo 3, libro 8 of the Recopilation, which declared that the duties of each 
official concerned each of the others. 

Checks on Treasury Administration 195 

cashier, who received and paid all moneys, with no definite time 
for placing them in the strong box. This departure from the 
commands of the law was known and condoned by several of the 
viceroys, and had been acquiesced in by more than one visitor- 
general. As a result, entries of receipts and expenditures were 
made in a daybook without formality, and the notary did not 
keep his book up with the daybook, but copied his entries at the 
end of the year from the books of the officials, who at the same 
time made up the general book from their own journals. The 
laws had thus become meaningless forms, facilitating disorder 
and irregularity, and making possible the deficit which G-alvez 
had discovered. Hence the practice which he inaugurated was 
to be preferred. The administrator was to have charge of all 
collections, the treasurer was to receive them and disburse them, 
while the accountant was to check the transactions of both the 
others. Each Saturday they were to convene and deposit all 
sums, as provided by the law, 32 doing away with the extra-legal 
confidential cashier. On this day they were to make all needed 
payments, using for the purpose only sums which had previously 
been deposited. At the same time they were to take out for 
contingent expenses a sum deemed sufficient, returning the sur- 
plus to the strong box at the end of the ensuing week. Moneys 
were to be paid out only on the order of the administrator coun- 
tersigned by the accountant, whether for salaries or other ex- 
penses. The method of Galvez was, in fact, rather a stricter 
observance of the laws than a violation of them, and was much 
preferable to the old, looser mode of procedure. 33 

As to the charge that Galvez had wrought confusion in the 
accounts of real hacienda by uniting them all under the rules 
of the custom-house, the facts were that the custom-house of 
Vera Cruz had been originally intended, like those of other 

32 Eecopilacion, ley 10, tit. 6, lib. 8. 

33 Campomanes and Mofiino, art. 367. 

196 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

Spanish-American cities, for the collection of the alcabala. The 
almojarifazgo and other duties were collected in the accounting- 
house (casa de contaduria). As a result, during the periods 
when the alcabala was administered by the treasury officials, one 
of the latter had had to be nearly continuously at the custom- 
house to collect that duty. This was a great inconvenience, and 
had been the cause of complaint on the part of the officials as 
early as the time of the viceroy Amarillas (1755-58). Owing 
to the arrangement complained of, the other duties were col- 
lected indiscriminately either at the custom-house or at the 
accounting-house, according to convenience. From this lack of 
system had originated the errors in the books of the cochineal 
and brandy duties detected at the time of the visitation. It was 
to eliminate this confusion that the collection of all customs 
was centered at the custom-house, while all the accounts of the 
various duties were to be kept with the individuality and sep- 
arateness demanded by the law. Hence the charge that Galvez 
brought confusion into the methods of keeping the accounts of 
the rents was groundless. 

A real change in contravention of the existing laws, the fiscals 
of Castile admitted, had been made when Galvez took the con- 
servatory jurisdiction over the rents of real hacienda away from 
the treasury officials and conferred it upon the governor of Vera 
Cruz. The motive of the visitor in this change, which was tem- 
porary pending the decision of the King, was to separate judicial 
from administrative functions, as the faculty of contentious juris- 
diction on the part of collectors of revenues had been seen to be 
prejudicial to the adequate discharge of the chief functions of 
the treasury officials. 

As a matter of fact, the visitation of Vera Cruz had showed 
that these officers had been guilty of intolerable irregularity and 
neglect of duty, either from intent or from the physical impos- 
sibility of performing what the laws demanded of them. Their 

The Governor a Virtual Intendant 197 

books either did not exist, or they were improperly kept; their 
minute-book was lacking, as were the records of sales and auc- 
tions, orders, and despatches. Their debits and credits were 
entered in the general book annually only. Many other records 
were missing or full of suspicious corrections, while many failures 
to collect duties on cochineal were evident, though the guilty 
persons could not be pointed out. They did not hold weekly 
meetings with the governor ; funds were diverted at the pleasure 
of the confidential cashier ; frauds went undetected or winked at ; 
gifts and gratifications were accepted. In short, all the laws 
were greatly honored in the breach. 

This situation was abundant justification for placing author- 
ity, at least temporarily, in the hands of the governor, so that 
he might compel the treasury officials to observe the regulations, 
while in judicial matters he could work independently of them. 
Indeed, when the officials enjoyed, as was formerly the case, the 
right of jurisdictional authority, there was no one to check irreg- 
ularity and prevent neglect. Nor could this improper situation 
be corrected by suspending or removing corrupt officials, for 
even then the subordinate accountants, accustomed to devious 
methods, would be left in position to continue old abuses, and to 
teach them to the incoming superiors. Such a condition had 
Galvez come to New Spain to correct. 

Indeed, it was coming to be realized by the chiefs of admin- 
istration in the Spanish world at that time that judicial and 
administrative duties of treasury control should be distinct, 
justice and good policy requiring that the same persons could 
not well be both judges and litigants in the name of the crown. 
The power enjoyed by those who had immediate control of real 
hacienda should be restrained by the judicial supervision of the 
judge conservator of the revenues. It was in this case expected 
that the treasury officials would be watchful of the judge, and 
would complain, as was the custom in Spain, if he neglected 


198 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

justice, if he collected excessive judicial fees, or if he were re- 
miss in punishing frauds and smuggling. On the other hand, 
the governor would be on the alert to correct the conduct of the 
treasury officials if necessary, the mutual check being likely to 
promote the integrity and efficiency of administration. 34 

Previous mention has been made of the exception taken to 
the plan of Galvez to divide the proceeds of fines and confisca- 
tions imposed upon smugglers into four parts instead of three. 
Such a method had been employed in Spain since the royal 
cedula of December 17, 1760. The change for New Spain was a 
slight one, and had the merit of unifying practice in the New 
World with that of the Peninsula. It was hoped that the new 
method, which gave one-fourth of the fines to informants in- 
stead of the old one-sixth, would cause greater vigilance on the 
part of the public in detecting and rooting out contraband busi- 
ness. New Spain was in fact suffering about one million pesos' 
loss annually from smuggling, though this was less than the loss 
from illicit traffic in the remaining American possessions, which 
brought the total up to about twelve millions annually. 35 

The laws of the Indies originally established the division of 
confiscations for smuggling without specifying what the shares 
should be ; later, the goods or money seized were to be divided 
among the chamber (of the Council of the Indies), the presiding 
judge, and the informant. The share of the latter, if the amount 
were large, might be reduced. Sometimes, if there was no in- 
formant, a two-thirds share went to the judge ; in other cases, 
one-third was divided between the judge and the informant. 
Again, two-thirds were to be applied to real hacienda if there 
was no informant; finally, by ley 11, titulo 17, libro 8, of the 
Recopilacion, the regular duties on the valuation of the goods 
were first taken out for real hacienda ; of the remainder, one-sixth 

34 Campomanes and Mofiino, arts. 387-88. 

35 Consulta sobre el proyecto de comercio, A. H. N., Leg. 2314. See 
Chapter I, pp. 29-31. 

Precautions Against Smuggling 199 

went to the judge, one-third of the remainder was then left to 
the informant, and the final remainder to real hacienda. In cases 
of the avoidance of the alcabala on sales within the viceroyalty 
of New Spain, that is, smuggling on land, the practice was to 
divide the fines and confiscations by thirds. This system was 
ordained by Trespalacios in his plan for the administration of 
the alcabala at Mexico. It was discovered by the accountant- 
general of the Council of the Indies that in one case of confisca- 
tion of goods which had eluded the alcabala, the royal treasury 
had suffered the loss of twenty-seven pesos because the royal 
share had been reduced from one-third to one-fourth ! This 
petty instance is sufficient to indicate to what length the com- 
mercial interests would go in objecting to the new system, leaving 
no small stone unturned to find fault at the prospect of the dis- 
appearance of their special privileges. 

G-alvez took further precautions to prevent smuggling, the 
most notable of which was to increase the number of guards who 
protected the coast near Vera Cruz. The shoreline, full of shal- 
low inlets, was particularly favorable for sending in small vessels 
to disembark goods well out of reach of the guards. The Council 
of the Indies took exception to the increase of the guards, alleg- 
ing that 1000 pesos' additional expenditure for salaries was un- 
warranted. It was plain, however, that some such added pre- 
caution was needed, and the increase was adhered to. 36 It was 
confidently felt that the reforms would overcome this new ex- 
pense by abolishing the many illegal contributions which com- 
merce had suffered under the old system, and by reducing duties 
which had not been lowered in 1720. So also the addition of 
an appraiser and a warden to the force at the custom-house was 
expected to be justified by increase of revenues as a result of 
added efficiency. 


36 Galvez, Informe General, 104-106; Campomanes and Monino, arts. 

200 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

In any event, the Instruccion provisional contained a pro- 
vision for control of expenditures which made it possible to 
reduce the number of employees at any weekly meeting of the 
treasury officials if they found that the number employed was 
too large. 37 

In fine, the opinion of the fiscals of Castile was that there 
was no just cause for nullifying the measures proposed by 
Galvez, much less for reprimanding him, as the Council of the 
Indies requested. For, instead of the injustice, and the damage 
to real hacienda and to the commercial interests which that body 
alleged, it appeared that quite the opposite effect had been ob- 
tained, for the reports of the ministers charged with the cor- 
rection of abuses were more worthy of credit than the complaints 
of those who were interested in the continuation of such abuses. 

Campomanes and Monino therefore recommended, in resume 
of their Informe, that Galvez and Croix should be informed that 
they were to go on managing the affairs of real hacienda at 
Vera Cruz under the Instruccion provisional, proceeding with 
all the suavity possible, and attempting to harmonize the needs 
of the royal treasury with those of commerce ; that they should 
accede to recommendations which might be made by the juntas 
provided for in articles 13 and 136 of the Instruccion, making 
such changes as the interests of the merchants and of the crown 
demanded ; that no new exactions be made without notice to the 
King and only with his consent ; that the guias, tornaguias, and 
the marchamo be continued in use, but without payment of duty 
for their issue ; 38 that the tornaguia be secured by suave methods 

37 Art. 13. 

38 The marclwmo was employed in the custom-houses at Mexico, 
Puebla, and Vera Cruz, following the system in use in some parts of 
Spain, and elsewhere in Europe. The practice was to stamp the royal 
arms on a piece of linen and sell one to the muleteer for each package 
carried, at one real. After 1776 the arms were stamped on the packages 
directly, and the tax of one real was abolished, in accordance with fhe 
recommendation above noticed. By royal order of May 13, 1791, the 
marchamo was abolished, as it failed to stop frauds, and was a detriment 
to trade (Eevillagigedo, Instruccion Beservada, arts. 1046-49). 

Approved by the Fiscals of Castile 201 

from localities where there were no custom-houses or mining 
camps; that special attention be paid to the matter of salaries 
at the custom-house ; that the duty on brandy be collected either 
at entry or on departure for the interior, as experience might 
dictate; that reductions of duties on liquors for leakage be ad- 
justed so as to avoid complaint ; that the alcabala should not be 
collected on goods in transit through Vera Cruz, provided they 
be consigned at the point of origin to an interior destination, 
that they pass through the custom-house, and actually reach the 
declared destination ; that the consulado of Cadiz be advised of 
this regulation, so that the merchants might be prepared to give 
suitable papers when shipping goods whereby they might enjoy 
the immunity; and, finally, that in the matter of collecting 
alcabala from Indians, and in charging duties on cacao imported 
by ecclesiastics, the rules proposed in the Instruction should be 
observed. As to the suspension of the customs officers at Vera 
Cruz by Galvez, it seemed to be justified ; their trials should pro- 
ceed, and even if they were proven not guilty, they should not 
be re-employed at Vera Cruz, but be transferred for the good 
of the service. The fiscals commented further : 

As time and experience will instruct concerning the increase of the 
revenues and the prosperity of business, your Majesty will be able to 
remove all abuses, stop all complaints, and establish a permanent, solid 
basis for the fiscal affairs of the viceroyalty. To this end, the viceroy and 
the visitor should be commended to employ suave and gentle measures 
with the subjects of that realm, prudently overlooking small matters, so 
that the best constitution of those provinces may be secured with the 
least possible friction, and contraband trade and deception in the manage- 
ment of real hacienda become thoroughly uprooted. 39 

The Instruction provisional received the royal approval, and «/ 
continued in operation in its essential features until the close of 
the Spanish regime. 

4. Objections to open coastwise trade. — We have now to 
consider the fourth of the five features of the reforms of Galvez 

39 Campomanes and Monino, art. 461. 

202 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

relative to commerce. This was the measure which opened the 

ports of Campeche, Yucatan, and the Windward Islands to 

European merchandise from Vera Cruz. It was the precursor 

'of the more liberal policy which in 1774 authorized freedom of 

y^ intercolonial trade between New Spain, Guatemala, New Gra- 
nada, and Peru. In 1778 this policy was still further amplified 
by concessions to commerce which have already been discussed 
in this work. It is important to note that this relaxation of com- 
mercial regulations had its beginning during the visitation of 
New Spain by Galvez, and that it was largely due to his efforts 
that it was brought about. 40 

^ The story of the inception of the liberalized coasting trade is 

as follows : In March, 1766, four merchants of Yucatan and the 
port of Campeche wrote a letter to Galvez, complaining of the 
restrictions which prevented their obtaining European goods 
from Vera Cruz. This restriction had been placed on colonial 
commerce as a result of the fear felt by the Spanish merchants 
that such traffic would injure the business of the merchant fleets. 
But the fleets made little effort to supply the needs of the small 
ports, the expense of carrying on business making it impossible 
to engage profitably in trade with any but the most opulent 
trading centers. 41 Beside this drawback, the ports of the lower 
gulf coast were very shallow, so that years often elapsed (in one 
instance, as many as twenty) between arrivals of vessels from 
Spain with goods for Campeche. The very natural result was 
that small vessels from Vera Cruz, Havana, or the islands of the 
Caribbean undertook to supply the Yucatan and Campeche mar- 
kets by smuggling. The French and English were also engaged 
in the same trade. The four merchants of Yucatan therefore 
prayed Galvez that they might be allowed to obtain European 
goods from Vera Cruz lawfully, just as the neighboring province 

40 See above, pp. 32 et seq. ; cf. Altamira, Historia de Espana, TV. 294. 

41 Consulta sobre el proyecto de comercio, A. H. N., Leg. 2314. 

Beginning of Commercial Freedom 203 

of Tabasco had been permitted to do. 42 Galvez was particularly 
anxious to comply with this request, as he saw in it an oppor- S 
tunity to reduce the great abuse of smuggling which he was 
trying to eradicate. He therefore called upon the deputies of 
the consulado of Cadiz for their opinion as to the desirability of 
the change. The deputies favored it, though it was known that 
such traffic had frequently been prohibited, even in times of 
great scarcity in the viceroyalty. Such prohibition had been 
enforced at the behest of the consulado of Mexico, which body 
frankly admitted that the benefit to be obtained from high prices 
owing to scarcity was more to be desired than abundance of 
goods. 43 The deputies thought that freedom to export European 
goods from Vera Cruz to Campeche and Yucatan would be par- 
ticularly efficacious in stopping smuggling by the English who 
were established on the Wallis River; they also expressed the 
opinion that the measure would increase rather than diminish 
the trade of both the fleet and the Manila galleon, and ought 
therefore to be enacted. 

Galvez made diligent search in the records of the viceroyalty 
to see if there was any actual prohibition of this exportation, 
but was unable to discover mention of any order preventing it. 
He inclined to the opinion that the practice of refusing to allow 
it arose from misapprehension of the ruling that goods might 
not be transported from one American port to another in the 
same vessel in which they had been brought from Spain to a 
definite port of entry ; or the error might also have originated 
from the fact that the law prohibited bringing European goods 
from other American ports to Vera Cruz, a regulation based 
upon the argument that such commerce would diminish the direct 
trade from Spain, especially that of the fleets. But to prohibit 
exportation of Spanish goods from Vera Cruz to other American 

42 Pedro Lardizabal and three others to Galvez, March 26, 1766, 88-5-25 
Galvez, decree, Mexico, April 30, 1766, 88-5-25. 

43 Campomanes and Mofiino, art. 465. 

204 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

ports was to place a needless restriction upon the commerce of 
New Spain and of the Peninsula alike, and also to compel the out- 
lying provinces to depend upon illicit commerce, and deprive the 
crown of revenues from duties which the merchants of the lower 
coast were more than willing to pay if they could thus be freed 
from the special hazards of the contraband trade. 44 Galvez there- 
fore proposed to Croix that a bando permitting export of Euro- 
pean goods from Vera Cruz to Campeche and Yucatan be issued. 
In support of the proposal, he called to attention the frauds and 
clandestine commerce in dyewoods which had been discovered 
by his subdelegate of the visitation at the Laguna de Terminos 
and the Presidio del Carmen in 1765, when the "Nancy" and 
the "Triton" had been taken in the act of introducing and 
exporting goods unlawfully. 

The accountant-general, Landazuri, reported with never fail- 
ing consistency against this plan, as he had against the previous 
reforms. It would be contrary to the practice of two centuries ; 
it had only the support of the two young, inexperienced Cadiz 
deputies; it was an innovation which demanded more thought 
and examination than could be bestowed with the information 
at hand. The proper thing would be to obtain information from 
the consulados of Cadiz and Mexico, and from private persons 
of ripe experience ; meantime the viceroy should be ordered to 
suspend the granted permission. The fiscals of the Indies con- 
formed with the opinion of Landazuri, alleging that the new 
freedom would increase foreign rather than Spanish commerce, 
especially since the English had by recent treaty been permitted 
to establish themselves at Pensacola, Apalache, and Yucatan, 
from which vantage-points they would, if the new rule were 
continued, send goods to Vera Cruz, to be exported under the 
new permission. The bando of the viceroy ought to be recalled, 
and the old prohibition re-enacted. The visitor and the viceroy 

44 Galvez to Arriaga, Mexico, March 26, 1767, 88-5-25. 

A Blow at English Smuggling 205 

should be reprimanded for their attitude in the matter, "and 
for their excessive affection for foreigners in the admission of 
vessels at Vera Cruz, and frequent permission for the sale of 
their goods." 45 

Croix, in his Informe satisfactorio upon this and other points, 
dated September 28, 1768, reiterated the statement of Galvez 
that no real prohibition against the proposed exportation had 
been discoverable, though the viceroy himself had previously re- 
fused permission for it, under the belief that it was illegal. On 
the other hand, it had been found that ley 14, titulo 15, libro 8 
of the Recopilacion provided for the collection of five per cent 
additional duty on European goods shipped from one American 
port to another, which, as far as it went, was construed to be 
tacit permission to reship goods when necessary. 

The fiscals of Castile found abundant evidence, from the 
documents of the visitation of the Presidio del Carmen and other 
places, that smuggling was notoriously prevalent on the lower 
coast. It was due in great measure to the existence there of 
large quantities of dyewood, for which there were no Spanish 
vessels, as none called at those insignificant ports. ^They there- 
fore recommended that commerce in European goods from Vera 
Cruz be permitted, with the proviso that such goods must first 
be disembarked and satisfy the revenue regulations ; none of the 
single ships from Spain (buques de registro) were to be per- 
mitted to engage in the coastal trade, and only such ports were 
to be opened as did not have already an established trade with 
the Peninsula. The viceroy and the visitor should provide regu- 
lations for this commerce and send them to the King for approval. 

5. Objections to reduced duties at Vera Cruz. — The last point 
urged against the reforms of Galvez at Vera Cruz characterized 
his reduction of the duties collected there for the maintenance 
of the fortifications of the port as unauthorized and inexpedient. 

4 5 Council of the Indies, Consulta, February 10, 1768, 88-5-25; Campo- 
manes and Mofiino, art. 470. 

206 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

Writing to Croix on March 8, 1767, Galvez said with refer- 
ence to these duties : 

Among the many abuses which I found during my visitation of the 
royal revenues of Vera Cruz was the duty of twelve reals exacted upon 
each tercio [half a carga, or mule load, which was usually ten arrobas, 
approximating two hundred and fifty pounds] of flour exported to the 
Windward Islands and other provinces, for the expenses of the fortifi- 
cations of the port. When the impost originally was levied it was placed 
upon each carga by an order of the viceroy Casafuerte, dated May 9, 1727. 
Through misconception or from necessity, the duty had later been doubled, 
and collected on each tercio, with the result that commerce in wheat and 
flour was practically ruined. The grain farms remained uncultivated, and 
had fallen into mortmain or had been sold at ridiculously low prices. 

As a result, wheat was often very scarce, for sowing came to 
be limited to suit the needs of local consumption only, and if, as 
often happened, these crops fell short, real suffering ensued. 
This was not the sole damage, for Havana and other New World 
possessions were thus put to the necessity of purchasing bread- 
stuffs from foreign colonies. 46 

The reduction in this duty agreed upon by Galvez and Croix 
was from twelve reals to one real per tercio. "Wherefore," 
wrote Galvez to Croix, "I enclose to you the attached note, so 
that, if you find it in due form, you will please order it printed 
and sent out to all parts as quickly as possible, in order that the 
farmers and merchants may have notice of this benefit, and 
agriculture — the most indispensable wealth of any country — 
may be restored." 47 The oando thus requested appeared in due 
order on March 11, and its concluding words were in the identical 
phraseology of the last part of the request above quoted. 48 

46 Galvez to Croix, Mexico, March 8, 1767, 88-5-25. A serious obstacle 
to wheat production in New Spain was the fact that it was one of the 
least remunerative of the producible crops. It was estimated by Hum- 
boldt that wheat returned only eighty to one hundred francs per acre, 
while cotton yielded two hundred and fifty, and sugar four hundred and 
fifty, francs per acre. Hence little area outside the temperate regions was 
sowed to wheat. Greater profit could be obtained from the "colonial" 
commodities — cochineal, indigo, vanilla, etc. (Political Essay, III, 2). 

47 Galvez to Croix, Mexico, March 8, 1767, 88-5-25. 

48 Croix, Bando, May 11, 1767, 88-5-25. 

Reduction of Wine and Flour Duties 207 

The governor of Havana, Antonio Bucarely y Ursua (he who 
succeeded Croix in the viceroyalty in 1771), and the intendant, 
Miguel de Altarriba, were called upon to give their opinion on 
the wisdom of the reduction of the flour duty and the wine duty 
(the latter was reduced from four pesos to one peso per barrel). 
Their opinion was that the measures of Galvez were necessary 
and right. Landazuri acknowledged that the motives for the 
reductions were strong and equitable, but thought it strange that 
they had been placed in operation without previous approval 
by the King, and with no other provision substituted for keeping 
up the revenues to apply to the fortifications. The fiscals of 
the Indies requested that the reductions be suspended until infor- 
mation as to the past history of the duties concerned could be 
obtained from the audiencia of Mexico, and until it could be 
ascertained what other funds were to be applied to maintenance 
of the fortifications. 49 

The fiscals of Castile noted that the Council of the Indies was 
thus calling upon the audiencia of Mexico for information which 
it might more readily procure by searching its own records. 
Campomanes and Monino agreed with Galvez, Crojx, Bucarely, 
and Altarriba that the former high duties had injured agricul- 
ture and encouraged smuggling. They also thought that to re- 
quest information from the audiencia of Mexico on the question 
was a needless imputation of untruthfulness and lack of discern- 
ment to Croix and Galvez. The best plan would be to call upon 
these ministers for information as to what diminution of revenue 
had followed the reductions, and what means they had taken to 
supply deficiency, if any had been caused. The reductions were 
wise and necessary, and ought to be approved. 50 

Not to fall short of their full measure of disapproval, the 
fiscals, the contador, and the Council of the Indies added to their 
specific criticisms the general accusation that Galvez had, in his 

49 Campomanes and Monino, art. 489. 
so Ibid., art. 501. 

208 Customs Reforms at Vera Cruz 

new legislation, failed to listen to the advice of the ayunta- 
mientos, caoildos, the consulado, or to the audiencia and its fiscal, 
but had been content with his own counsels. The fiscals of 
Castile pointed out that the visitor was by his Instruccion re- 
servada required to hold conference with the viceroy only con- 
cerning his projected measures for changes of administration of 
real hacienda. He was ordered to proceed in harmony with the 
viceroy and with all officials who had done their duty; but his 
powers would have been destroyed if he had been obliged to act 
in accord with the opinions of the various corporations and indi- 
viduals who were connected with irregularities or were respon- 
sible for neglect of the King's revenues. To have consulted them 
would have been to defeat his own measures and the purposes 
of the visitation. The cities, indeed, were not parties to the 
disputes concerning the affairs of real hacienda, but they were 
nevertheless to reap benefit from the reductions of duties and the 
increased efficiency of administration. 51 

This unequivocal approval by the fiscals of Castile meant the 
complete triumph of Galvez over the obstructionist policy of the 
commercial interests. Such a victory was as earnestly desired 
by the King and his ministry as by the visitor himself. Arriaga, 
indeed, was a conservative whose temperament caused him to 
shrink involuntarily from all change, but Grimaldi, who had 
been an able coadjutor with Esquilache in proposing and effect- 
ing reform, before the disgrace and removal of the latter, was 
still in power, and still warmly espoused the cause of his old 
secretary, now his efficient ally in the important office of visitor- 
general. Within a fortnight after the opinion of Campomanes 
and Moiiino was rendered Grimaldi expressed himself in these 
words : 

The measures of Galvez have been criticized here by those who are 
interested in maintaining disorders, but these measures have just been 
approved in their most justifiable details by a junta of impartial minis- 

si Ibid., art. 50< 

The Council of the Indies Defeated 209 

ters, whose opinion will perhaps be published; it will do no great honor 
to the Council of the Indies, which had expressed its disapproval. 52 

The foregoing detailed study of the reforms at Vera Cruz 
and of the struggle which was necessary to effect them throws 
an interesting light on the commercial system from which Spain 
derived her revenues, and illustrates the administrative proced- 
ure which was needed to obtain necessary reforms.X From the 
standpoint of the special study of the work of Galvez, it is pleas- 
ing to see that the liberal policy inaugurated by Charles III 
for the colonies was due in large measure to the initiative and 
independence of his visitor-general. The fact that the merchants 
had the ear of the Council of the Indies and its assistance in 
opposing any limitation of their privileges is manifest in every 
phase of the struggle. That the ultimate decision was taken 
out of the hands of the Council of the Indies and given to the 
fiscals of Castile is an interesting commentary on the supposedly 
independent position of the Council in affairs touching the col- 
onies. The absolutism of the King demanded only that his plans 
for reform should receive the support of legal sanction ; it mat- 
tered little that the body to which all American, affairs were 
intrusted opposed him. It is also of importance to know that 
the victory of Galvez was a matter 6f personal interest to the 
great Italian minister of Charles III, and that it was achieved 
by the co-operation of Campomanes and Moiiino, the latter of 
whom was less than five years later to succeed Grimaldi, as that 
minister's choice, in the important office of first minister of state. 
Thus the name of Galvez is linked closely with those of the 
greatest reformers of his age and country, not as being their mere 
tool but as their able coadjutor. It was to the whole-souled 
support of Grimaldi, Campomanes, and Moiiino that Galvez owed 
his success in New Spain, a success which renders his visitation 
conspicuous in the long series of such errands of royal represen- 
tation in the colonies of the New WorldX 

52 Grimaldi to Bucarely, Aranjuez, May 5, 1771, 146-4-2. 



In the present chapter an attempt is made to give an account 
of the activities of the visitor-general from the time of the 
coming of Croix (August 23, 1766) to the close of 1767. In 
previous chapters it has been necessary to present accounts of 
many of his activities which began before and extended beyond 
the period at present under discussion. The salient feature of 
this period was the expulsion of the Jesuits from New Spain, 
which resulted in the military and judicial expedition made by 
Galvez into the mining region of Guanajuato and to Valladolid. 

After the assumption of office by Croix, the affairs of the 
visitation moved with rapidity. The visitor and the viceroy 
worked together in perfect harmony, initiating at the start most 
of the measures with which the visitation is credited. Prelimi- 
nary steps were taken to obtain information upon which to base 
reforms of municipal finance {propios y arhitrios), the alcabala 
was investigated, and the decision reached to place its collection 
in the hands of the towns and districts (por encabezamiento), 
instead of in the hands of individual tax-farmers or under ad- 
ministration of the central government. 1 

Other revenues were also reorganized. The pulque revenue 
of Puebla, the powder revenue, and the playing-card revenue 
were all placed under crown administration — the latter not with- 
out opposition from Velarde, fiscal of the audiencia. Arriaga 
upheld Galvez, however, and the fiscal was not able to obstruct 
the work, as he had been in the tobacco revenue. 2 The visitation 
of the subtreasuries of Puebla and Acapulco was begun, involv- 


i Galvez, Informe General, 101, 134. 
Arriaga to Galvez, March 11, 1766, 88-5-21; Galvez, Informe General, 

Planning the Coup 211 

ing the displacement of numerous officials, appointment of new 
ones, and the formation of plans for reform in collection of royal 
rents in those places. During the fall of 1767 the visitation of 
the custom-house of Mexico was carried on while the expedition 
to the mining regions of Guanajuato and Valladolid was occur- 
ring. Galvez and Croix were busy with preparations for reforms 
in the tribute collections, the mining revenues, the salt revenue, 
and with framing regulations for the powder monopoly, when 
the order of Charles III was received for the expulsion of the 
Jesuits. 3 

1. Galvez and the Jesuit Expulsion. — It is not within the 
scope of the present inquiry to discuss the causes, the merits, or 
the consequences of the policy of Charles in expatriating the 
Jesuits from all his dominions. Nor is it intended to chronicle . 
in a general way the course of the execution of the order of ^ 
expulsion in New Spain. 4 The purpose is merely to show what tyt 
share Galvez had in planning and executing the coup, and into 
what activities this work led him, namely, the expedition of the 
fall of 1767. 

The order for the expulsion reached Croix on May 30. He 
had been viceroy for just nine months, hardly time to establish 
himself in his office in a land where the movement of political 
life and administration was extremely slow. He had learned, 
however, that the power of the Jesuits with the people of New 
Spain was very great, and it was feared that the execution of the 
royal order would be accompanied by grave disorders. He had 

3 Galvez, Informe General, 78. 

* Ferrer del Rio, Historic/, del Eeinado de Carlos III en Espana, Vol. II, 
is devoted to the Jesuit situation under Charles. The expulsion itself 
constitutes the subject matter of Chapter IV of that work. See also F. 
Rousseau, Eegne de Charles III d'Espagne, Vol. I, chapters IV-XIII. In 
Chapter VII Rousseau gives some of the incidents of the expulsion from 
South America. Moses, Papers on the Southern Spanish Colonies of America 
(Berkeley, 1911), 103-126, recounts the expulsion from Rio de la Plata 
and Chile. Bancroft, History of Mexico, III, Chapter XXIII, gives the 
story of the expulsion from Mexico; on revolts in the provinces see 
especially pp. 444-5. 


212 The Expedition of 1767 

good reason to believe that the Society was anticipating hostile 
action on the part of the government, as sufficient time had 
elapsed since the expulsion from Spain in March for the leaders 
of the Jesuits in New Spain to be apprised, of that action. He 
also suspected that the Society might take measures to resist 
the accomplishment of the plans of the crown against them. 5 
Accordingly he confided his plans for the stroke to no one save 
Galvez and his own nephew, Teodoro de Croix. The account of 
the preparations for and the execution of the order is best given 
in the words of Croix himself: 

As all the inhabitants are worthy pupils and zealous partisans of that 
Company ... I took good care to trust none of them with the execution 
of the orders of the King. The secret would surely have got out, which 
would by no means have been convenient. For this reason it was that 
I decided to confide in none save the Senor de Galvez, a minister who is 
employed here in the King's service, and in your son; we three, therefore, 
made all the arrangements ourselves,6 writing with our own hands all the 
orders necessary; these were immediately despatched by special messen- 
gers, that they might be carried out simultaneously in the most remote 
places of this vast empire. 

Until now the business has had the best success; neither the troops 
nor any member of the public discovered the secret until daybreak of 
the twenty-fifth of the present month [June], which was the date I had 
selected for the promulgation of the sentence. It was executed at the 
same hour in all the colleges and other houses of the Company, whose 
money, goods, and general effects were at the same time sequestered to 
the King. 

Effort is now being made, while orders are being awaited, to arrange 
everything so that no one may be injured. The secret was so well kept 

s Galvez, Informe de el visitador de este reyno al Exmo Senor Virrey, 
marques de Croix, Mexico, December 25, 1767, MS. This Informe, of 
which a contemporary copy is in the Bancroft Library of the University 
of California, narrates the events growing out of the expulsion in which 
Galvez was chief actor. 

e V arias Cartas del Marques de Croix, XLV Virey de la Nueva Espana 
(Brussels, 1884, A. Nunez Ortega, ed.), Croix to the Marquis of Huechin, 
his brother, June 30, 1767; the same letter appears in the Correspondence, 
207-8. The secrecy with which these preparations were made was in 
imitation of the policy of Aranda, Eoda, Campomanes, and Moiiino in 
promulgating the instructions for the expulsion from Spain; cf. Rousseau, 
I, 217. 

Preparations in Secret 213 

that the entire public is not yet recovered from the extreme surprise it 
experienced at the outset, a circumstance which — added to the fact that 
the troops were under arms — has contributed not a little to the marked 
tranquility with which everything has passed off, as well here as in the 
principal cities around about. These are the only places of which I can 
at present write you, as I have not yet been able to obtain news from 
those which are at greater distance. Nevertheless, as the orders were 
uniform, I flatter myself that the results must have been the same. 

The good fathers are conforming with the greatest submission to the 
will of the King. Their removal was accompanied by all manner of atten- 
tions, and they are cared for much better than they were in their own 
houses. They are all now en route for Vera Cruz, where I shall have them 
embarked for the port of Santa Maria as quickly as possible. Thence 
they will doubtless be transported to the Papal States at the expense of 
the King, upon whom this item will necessarily fall heavily, but no matter, 
they leave in his dominions much more than is necessary to meet this cost 
without need of recourse to the royal treasury. 

Galvez says, concerning preparation for the execution of the 
order, that the greatest care was exercised in the choice of officers 
sent to the outlying provinces for that purpose. Among them 
were the members of the official family of the visitor, 7 going 
ostensibly as subdelegates of the visitation, but secretly carrying 
the order of expulsion. Army officers were also^sent out, but 
to the public their errand was announced to be the organization 
of companies of militia. Such procedure was deemed absolutely 
essential, as, the secret once out, "New Spain would have become 
the bloody theatre of the gravest tragedies, for there was in fact 
no other authority recognized than that of the regulars of the 
Company. ' ' 8 

2. Riots in the provinces. — While there had been no disturb- 
ances in Mexico and Puebla during the expulsion, there had been 
riots in the mining regions, of which Croix was not informed 
when he wrote the letter above quoted. To the north, in San 
Luis de la Paz, San Luis Potosi, and Guanajuato, where trouble 

7 Galvez, In forme de el visitador, p. 3a. 
s Ibid., 4. 

214 The Expedition of 1767 

with the lower classes was chronic, the expulsion had failed of 
execution. There were also riots and insurrections in Valladolid 
and Patzcuaro. Many of these disorders were due to the renewal 
^j£ of orders against carrying arms, to the collection of the tribute, 
undertaken at this time with renewed vigor, and to the collection 
of excises on "regional beverages. 9 When Croix was about to 
send a minister of the audiencia to quell these disturbances, 
Galvez offered to go himself, ' ' after filling the heart of the gentle 
viceroy with suspicion as to the true cause of the commotions," 
that is, after making him believe that they were due to the ex- 
pulsion, and not to economic malcontent. 10 

Galvez and Croix are both silent as to which of them sug- 
gested that the former should go in person to the turbulent re- 
gions. Galvez says that they agreed to that measure when news 
> first came of the tumults at San Luis de la Paz. 11 He set out 
\j from Mexico on July 9, 1767, vested with the full powers of the 
viceroy, in the same form as he was later to be authorized to act 
for Croix while on the California and Sonora expedition. He 
was preceded on July 5 and 7 by three detachments of the troops 
which had guarded the expulsion from Mexico and Puebla. 12 

9 Providencias de Galvez en su visita, A. G. I., Papeles procedentes del 
minister io de Estado, Audiencia de Mexico, Leg. 15, No. 36. This manuscript 
is anonymous; it is a caustic account of Galvez in New Spain, bearing the 
date August, 1773. Whoever the author, it was certainly written to dis- 
credit the visitor. The descriptive title of the 'Providencias de Galvez, 
rendered into English, is: "Brief notice of the principal expeditions and 
measures of the visitation of real hacienda, performed by Don Joseph de 
Galvez of the Council of the Indies and visitor-general of the tribunals 
of New Spain, for improving the fortunes of that kingdom; written with 
the sole object of giving an idea of the vast notions of this peculiar 
minister, who, depreciating all the difficulties of long experience, set in 
motion everything that his fecund imagination conceived to be easy, in 
order to obtain prodigious advantages and immense treasures, with the 
assistance afforded him without limit whatsoever through the worthy zeal 
of the viceroy, the Marques de Croix. ' ' 

io Ibid. 

ii Informe de el visitador, 9a; Informe General, 139. 

12 "Con los piquetes de tropa veterana que V. E. destino de la que 
habia aqui y en Puebla, y con sus amplias facultades que se sirvio trans- 
ferirme para que el Rey quedara debidamente obedecido" {Informe de el 
visitador, 8a). 

Disorder Swiftly Punished 215 

As only 600 troops were available for the expedition, volun- 
teers were called for from the province of Michoacan to join 
Galvez at Guanajuato. The sargento mayor Pedro Gorostiza, 
who had led troops to assist in the expulsion of the Jesuits from 
Guadalajara by Eusebio Ventura Beleila, the viceroy's commis- 
sioner for that purpose, was also ordered to bring his militia to 
Guanajuato. Juan Velazquez, adjutant-major of the Regiment 
of Dragoons of Spain, who had been in charge of the military 
forces of the expulsion from Nuevo Leon, marched at once to 
Guanajuato with such volunteers as he could enlist. 

3. Disturbances at San Luis de la Paz. — The first objective 
point of Galvez was San Luis de la Paz, which is northeast of 
Guanajuato, near the eastern boundary of the modern state of 
that name. The commissioners of the expulsion had been driven 
out of San Luis de la Paz on June 25, without having executed 
their orders. Again, on the night of the 7th of July, riots occurred 
when the alcalde mayor attempted to take the Jesuits from their 
college. When they heard of the approach of Galvez with troops, 
the Fathers fled while he was yet two days distant ; this was about 
the middle of July. The leaders of the riots were caught and 
given summary trials by the visitor, who sat as a military judge, 
in his capacity as intendant of the army. On July 20 four ring- 
leaders of the tumults were executed, two others being whipped 
and exiled. 13 

In San Luis de la Paz, Galvez obtained possession of certain 
seditious circulars of unknown origin, which had been distributed 
for the purpose of urging defiance to the king's order of expul- 
sion. Three months later a Franciscan minorite confessed to the 
authorship of the circulars ; he was sent to Mexico to prison. As 
the Jesuits had fled, the people were now without spiritual pas- 
tors, so Galvez called upon the bishop of Michoacan for four 
priests to fill the places thus left vacant. To these priests the 

is Informe de el visitador, 12a. 

216 The Expedition of 1767 

visitor conceded 500 pesos salary, to be paid from the income 
of the Jesuit estates. For the purpose of preserving the peace 
in San Luis de la Paz, Galvez organized and left there a new 
company of militia. To pay for their arms, taxes were levied 
upon the common people, who had engaged in the riots. The 
uniforms of the new troops were to be obtained from the pro- 
ceeds of a levy upon the "respectable people" for that purpose. 

Learning that the mob which had resisted the expulsion from 
Guanajuato had attempted to break open the royal subtreasury 
of that city, Galvez ordered Juan Velazquez, adjutant-major of 
dragoons, to transport the public funds of Guanajuato to Mexico 
for safe keeping. Then, hearing also that the people of Guana- 
juato were escaping in great numbers, the intendant ordered a 
cordon of 8000 militia thrown about the city, to prevent the 
escape of rioters, and to keep the miners at work. This cordon 
was maintained for a period of three and a half months, and 
served its purpose well. 

4. Disorders at Potosi. — On the next to the last day of his 
stay at San Luis de la Paz, Galvez received three urgent appeals 
for help from San Luis Potosi. At that place the alcalde mayor, 
who was being assisted in attempts to effect the expulsion by 
Francisco Mora, a rich Creole farmer, was having serious trouble 
with the Indians of the town and of the mines. Galvez there- 
fore despatched a troop of cavalry thither, and ordered a cordon 
thrown about the Cerro de San Pedro, the hilly region in which 
the mines of the district were located. 14 He then set out from 
San Luis de la Paz on July 21, reaching Potosi on the morning 
of the 24th. Here the Jesuits were still in their church. De- 
ploying his forces upon all the streets of the place, Galvez ad- 
vanced upon the church, where a huge crowd was collected. He 
ordered the people out, closed the doors, ascended to the rector's 
room, and curtly ordered the Fathers brought from their rooms 

14 Informe de el visitador, 19, 19a. 

Order of Expulsion Executed 217 

and taken to the street under guard, allowing time only for 
coaches to be prepared and a few garments collected. The Jesuits 
were taken away under guard of seventy dragoons, who con- 
ducted them to the limits of the province, where they were met 
and escorted to Vera Cruz by a sergeant from Jalapa with twelve 
men. The rector of the church was expelled along with the other 
Jesuits, contrary to the usual practice observed during the ex- 
pulsion, as he was believed by G-alvez to have been responsible 
for many of the recent disturbances which had occurred among 
the mining population. Especially was this measure deemed ad- 
visable since it was rumored on all sides that a general massacre 
of the Spaniards had been planned for St. James ' Day, July 26, 
two days later than the date of Galvez' arrival. All the shops 
had been closed and the Spanish population had taken refuge 
in the convents. The plan of the insurgents included setting 
up an independent government and the readoption of the native 
religion. 15 

The beginning of this disorder had occurred at the Cerro de 
San Pedro (at Potosi) on May 10, 1767. The proximate cause 
was a decree forbidding carrying arms, and another decree or- 
dering the arrest of numerous vagabonds who infested the mines. 
The lieutenant of the alcalde mayor had been stoned in the very 
act of promulgating these decrees and had been saved from death 
only at the intercession of the parish priest. A second riot had 
occurred on May 26, when the alcalde ordinario on his night 
rounds arrested three Indians for carrying small arms. The 
next morning the alcalde had been forced to give up one of his 
prisoners to the native Indian alcalde after a heated debate in 
public as to competency of jurisdiction between the two offi- 
cers. An Indian mob stood by during the discussion, threat- 
ening violence. Seeing that threats had caused the delivery of 
the first prisoner into their hands, the mob stoned the jail, forc- 

is Informe de el visitador, 20. 

218 The Expedition of 1767 

ing the release of the second prisoner to the Indian alcalde of 
the second barrio. The rabble then planned to seize the city. 
Entering it on June 6, they obliged the alcalde to release twenty 
prisoners from the jail. They then went away, stoning the casa 
de cabildo (city hall), the tobacco warehouse, and several private 
dwellings. A party of militia recruits arriving on the scene, a 
private quarrel arose between a recruit and an Indian resident, 
in which the Indians joined forces against the recruits, stoned 
them, and tore down the Spanish flag which was floating over 
the plaza. 

When Croix heard of these disorders he planned to send 120 
dragoons to restore order and to effect the expulsion of the 
Jesuits. But the dragoons were not at that time supplied with 
arms, and nothing effective could be done to enforce the decree 
of expulsion on the set day, June 25. On June 26 the alcalde 
and Mora, the wealthy Creole farmer, attempted to remove the 
Jesuits. A mob seized the Fathers, took them to a convent for 
protection, and tried to kill the alcalde and his companions. 
Some Indians were shot in the melee, and the Fathers themselves 
were hit by flying stones. On the same day the mob broke open 
the jail and set free a number of prisoners ; they then broke into 
the warehouse of the powder monopoly and took the powder, 
and finally sacked a number of private stores and warehouses. 
The leader of the mob assumed the title of justicia real ordinaria T 
and the lawful alcalde was obliged to flee for his life and hide 
in the Jesuit college. Francisco Mora 16 and the Franciscan 
provincial obtained a signed promise on June 28 from the Indians 

!6 For his services during these disorders, and for his subsequent activ- 
ities in organizing and maintaining militia, Mora was rewarded by the 
King, on January 26, 1768, with the title of Conde de Santa Maria de 
Guadalupe del Penasco, the title being derived from the name of Mora's 
estate in the province of San Luis Potosi. One of Mora's descendants, 
Jose de Agreda y Sanchez Mora, lived some twenty years in Mexico City, 
where he enjoyed fame as a bibliographer. It was said that his library 
was the richest in Mexico (Correspondance, letter of Croix, Mexico, July 
26, 1768, p. 214, and note). 

Heavy Sentences Imposed 219 

resident within the town that they would keep the peace and 
assist in the expulsion, which was arranged anew to take place 
on July 9 ; but the Indians of the hills combined with those of 
the valley, fell upon the town on the night of July 8, and de- 
feated the plan, though they were driven off by Mora the next 
morning. In spite of this temporary success, the authorities felt 
obliged to await the coming of troops, and when these arrived 
the expulsion was tardily carried out in the manner indicated 

Once the Jesuits were gone, Galvez ordered the shops to re- 
open and the people to return home from their refuges in the 
convents. Summary trials of the rioters began at once. On 
August 7 eleven of them were sentenced to be hung and their 
heads set on pikes until time should consume them. Their homes 
were ordered destroyed and the sites strewn with salt. Thirty- 
nine other unfortunates were sent to prison for life and five more 
were exiled. In a neighboring village, San Nicolas, eleven per- 
sons were condemned to death ; the leader of the revolt was con- 
demned to be quartered and exposed on pikes for having sworn 
not to lay down arms until he had done away with the Gachupines 
(Spaniards). The hand of the secretary who had 'Written the 
oath was cut off and similarly exposed ; the village was deprived 
of all local autonomy until that should be restored by royal clem- 
ency, as the whole town was adjudged accessory to the revolt. 

In Guadalcazar four more persons were condemned to death. 
Here the rebels had forced from the authorities a humiliating 
capitulation, signed publicly in the plaza, in which it was speci- 
fied that the government monopolies of revenues and the alcabala 
should be abolished, and an Indian or a Creole recognized as king. 

In the Indian villages of El Venado and La Hedionda, two 
days' journey from Potosi, the natives had hitherto paid no 
tribute or tithes, claiming exemption because these settlements 
were still rated as frontier towns. The Indians availed them- 

220 The Expedition of 1767 

selves of the current disturbances to rise against the adminis- 
trator of their farms, and tried to kill him and the vicario. They 
beat the parish priest for trying to dissuade them from this 
violence, and drove off the lieutenant of the alcalde mayor, the 
Indian governor, and other loyal persons. When they heard that 
Galvez was coming with troops they sent to him emissaries, whom 
he promptly cast into prison. Receiving on July 29 authority 
from the viceroy to proceed against these towns, Galvez sent 
troops to them on August 4 to capture the recalcitrant Indians. 
Of those caught in the dragnet twelve were put to death, seven 
received two hundred lashes, and seventy-two were temporarily 
exiled. 17 The public lands of these towns, except one square 
league for each, were confiscated, and the cattle of the Indian 
commune were sold to pay the expenses of the local government. 

In the barrio of Analco, for similar offenses, the leader of the 
revolt was hung and quartered, his head was exposed, his body 
burned, and the ashes strewn to the winds. The alcalde mayor, 
who had been involved in the disorders, was fined 2000 pesos and 
sent to prison at Acapulco for eight years. 

At San Francisco, ten leagues from Potosi, the Indians had 
been encouraged to revolt by a Jesuit who was acting as parish 
priest. The cause of disaffection was the organization of militia 
and the consequent collection of taxes. The priest Galvez turned 
over to the bishop of Michoacan for punishment. The bishop 
exculpated the Jesuit on the score of insanity, but Galvez sent 
him to Mexico, with the recommendation that he be sent to Spain 
for trial. Eight natives were executed for sedition, two were 
sentenced to the lash and banishment, seven went to prison for 
life, and twenty-six for limited terms. Numerous other punish- 
ments were meted out in other barrios and villages of the neigh- 
borhood of Potosi. In the city itself, aside from the executions 
and other corporal punishments inflicted, the insurgent barrios 

Informe de el visitador, 34. 

Retrieving Spanish Domination 221 

or wards were deprived of self-government and every tributary 
was ordered to pay twelve reals within three months to provide 
arms for the new militia. Measures too detailed for recital here 
were taken for insuring the regular collection of the tribute. The 
local officers were adjured henceforth to enter into no humili- 
ating capitulations with rebels for the sake of peace. "Rather 
should they give their throats to the knife than submit to such 
disrespect to his Majesty." The Indians were prohibited anew 
from carrying firearms or side arms ; they must wear their 
characteristic dress, that they might be distinguished from the 
castes; they should not ride on horseback, as this custom made 
them insolent and overbearing. They might not convene except 
in the presence of the King's officers. Their houses should be 
aligned with each other, facing the streets, and with doors on 
the street side; for most of the houses were enclosed by fences 
and had concealed entrances, a condition which encouraged and 
facilitated disorder and crime. The Spaniards were forbidden 
anew to live among the Indians of the missions, but the right 
assumed by the Indians to prevent Europeans from living in 
their parishes and "reduced" settlements was declared by the 
visitor to be without legal sanction. 18 

The town hall (casa de cabildo) and the jail at Potosi having 
been destroyed in the .revolts, Galvez ordered new and better 
ones built in their places. The expense was to be borne by the 
rabble that had torn down the old buildings ; to this end, having 
nothing, they were to contribute labor, alternating in squads, and 
receiving from the public stores a bare sustenance the while. A 
tax on corn was levied to pay for building materials. Thus the 
burden of the punishment was laid upon the poorest element of 
society with great harshness. 

18 Most of these restrictions and regulations were merely revivals of 
the provisions of the laws of the Indies which had fallen into disuse; see 
Becopilacion, ley 24, tit. 1, lib. 6; ley 31, tit. 1, lib. 6; ley 33, tit. 1, lib. 6; 
for the principal regulations concerning the Indians see libro 6 entire. 

222 The Expedition of 1767 

The populace was convened in the town square {plaza mayor) , 
where the orders of the visitor announcing the above described 
regulations were read to them, at the same time that sentence of 
death was publicly pronounced on the leaders of the recent re- 
volts. Galvez himself made a vehement address from the balcony 
of his lodging, explaining how God always punishes rebellion, 
as He was then doing, adducing examples from Holy Writ, and 
calling attention to the small number of punishments which were 
being inflicted in the present instance in comparison with the 
large number of persons involved in the disturbances. His other 
measures, he said, were not punishments, but remedies for intol- 
erable conditions. He wrote to Croix: "Although some un- 
merited praise of this speech may have reached your Excellency's 
ear, it is true merely that my zeal and activity supplied my lack 
of eloquence." 19 

Galvez found the municipal government of San Luis Potosi 
in a state of neglect and decadence. The ayuntamiento was com- 
posed of only two regidores, and even these were mere lieutenants, 
and not office-holders in their own right. One of them was also 
alcalde ordinario. To reorganize the municipality, the visitor 
caused six regidores to be elected for a term of one year; they 
were, with two proprietary regidores, to form an ayuntamiento 
of eight capitulares, as was provided by law for a town of the 
size of Potosi. The town was divided into ten districts {cuar- 
ieles), including the seven Indian wards, and each was to be gov- 
erned by a regidor or an alcalde ordinario. The inhabitants were 
to be enumerated in padrones (registers) for the proper collection 
of the tribute. For better protection of the public funds, Galvez 
renewed the prescribed practice of keeping the municipal moneys 
in the strong-box with three keys, as had been provided by 
the Recopilacion, and he designated the officers who were to 
retain the keys. Similar protection was arranged for the sums 

19 Informe de el visitador, 51. 

Provincial Militia 223 

contributed voluntarily by the mining guild (cuerpo de mineria) 
for the improvement of their organization. It was due in part 
to irregular investments of these funds that the riots in the 
preceding spring had occurred among the Potosi miners. 

The work of maintaining peace at Potosi was greatly assisted 
by that Francisco Mora already mentioned. He equipped and 
kept in the field during the period we are studying a force of 
1000 militia at his own expense. As the loyal subjects had no 
union, arms, nor leaders to repel insurgents, Galvez, with the 
authorization of the viceroy, commissioned Mora to organize a 
permanent body of provincial militia. Mora soon raised ten 
companies of infantry and some light horse among the laborers 
of Charcas and Potosi. These troops were equipped by the late 
rebels in the manner already mentioned for the levies of San 
Luis de la Paz, "at no expense to real hacienda. ' ' 20 

Concerning the punishments imposed upon the natives of 
Potosi, and the speech in the plaza of which Galvez was so mod- 
estly proud, the anonymous writer of the Providencias de Galvez 

These punishments horrified the entire kingdom, accustomed as it was 
to see only convicted criminals led to the scaffold [the summary trials by 
Galvez as intendant were apparently an innovation] after confession in 
conformity with the wise laws. As an offset to his violent procedure 
Galvez assumed a feigned piety, arranging a great funeral pyre, a funeral 
oration, and all the ceremony with which the greatest heroes might be 
honored. He added a feature of which it is doubtful if there are many 
examples: this was to ascend the scaffold himself and harangue the 
populace, to the accompaniment of tears, a white handkerchief, and ex- 
quisite expressions. He then retired to his house to arrange splendid 
banquets and balls for the following scene, to which he invited all the 
principal persons of both sexes, and all the officials. With these deeds he 
was tranquilized, and ready to set out for Guanajuato. 21 

5. Rebellion at Guanajuato. — On October 11, 1767, the visitor 
finished his labors at San Luis Potosi. On the following day he 

20 Informe de el visitador, 53a. 
2i Providencias de Galvez. 

224 The Expedition of 1767 

departed for Guanajuato, where he arrived on the 16th. Here 
the sargento mayor, Pedro Gorostiza, the adjutant of dragoons, 
Juan Velazquez, and the alcalde mayor had proceeded, under 
orders from Galvez, with the preliminary examination of some 
600 prisoners who had been gathered into the jails by the cordon 
of militia. By this means the work of Galvez was expedited, and 
he was ready to pass sentence on November 6. For participation 
in riots, nine ringleaders were sentenced to death, five other cul- 
prits received two hundred stripes, thirty were sentenced to life 
imprisonment, one hundred and thirty-four received term sen- 
tences, and eleven were banished forever. The remaining pris- 
oners were admonished and dismissed by Galvez personally. The 
heads of eight of the condemned were exposed on pikes on the 
hilltops about the city. On the day of the executions the gangs 
of miners and many of the residents of the city were convoked 
in the plaza, where Galvez harangued them. He reminded them 
that there had been six riots in Guanajuato within the year, 
from which the city had received a bad name in the province. 
Most of these disturbances had been directed against the col- 
lection of the tribute and the alcabala, though the people had 
also opposed the establishment of the tobacco monopoly. In 
July they had rioted upon the occasion of the expulsion of the 
Jesuits, stoning the parish priest who tried to quell them. After 
the visitation of Galvez they were ready to pay the duties im- 
posed upon them, and there were no further disturbances in this 
locality during the remainder of his stay in New Spain. 22 
v The secret of the unfortunate conditions which he found 

prevalent in this region Galvez believed to be the incompetence 
of the alcaldes may ores. 2 * These men were of a type too ordinary 

22 Galvez, Informe General, 139. 

23 They were appointed by the king for terms of five years; they 
served thereafter until their successors were appointed. If an alcalde 
mayor died, the viceroy named a successor who served two years, even 
though the king might have named a regular successor. The alcaldes were 

Reforms at Guanajuato 225 

to permit them to become ready and inspiring leaders of the 
people. The demand that they pay half annats on salaries which 
they did not receive caused them to bend their energies to recov- 
ering the money which their positions had cost them, neglecting 
the solid permanent progress of their districts. San Luis Potosi 
was the center of a territory sixty leagues long, with two mining 
camps which had fallen into decay for lack of efficient develop- 
ment by a competent public officer. Guanajuato, as large or 
larger than Mexico, was yielding 500,000 or 600,000 pesos yearly 
in mining duties, but this revenue could be greatly increased if 
a suitable officer were to replace the alcalde mayor, who had no 
aim or incentive but to make himself rich. Until this present 
ruinous condition could be rectified by the creation of intendants, 
some provisional measures were needed. 

With such an end in view, Galvez adapted the regulations 
which he had introduced at San Luis Potosi to the situation at 
Guanajuato as best he could. For the defense of the province 
he organized a battalion of infantry and twenty-three companies 
of light horse. From these forces, which were not all kept con- 
stantly under arms, detachments of forty-six men in rotation 
were kept regularly in service for police duty at the cost of the 
city. The expense was met by a " voluntary 7 ' levy/ the excess 
product of which was applied to road-building. The strong-box 
of the municipal treasury was put to its intended use, reforms 
in favor of the mines were made in the levying of the local taxes, 
the ayuntamiento was quickened into more efficient life as had 

receiving no salaries during the period now under discussion, though they 
still paid half annats on a theoretical salary, as they had been doing 
since 1700. The first Eevillagigedo obtained for them the right to 
engage in commerce, and they became, under this privilege, little more 
than mere merchants. They collected the taxes called medio real de 
ministros (for salaries of defendants and protectors of the Indians), the 
medio real de hospital (for medical and hospital attendance for the In- 
dians), the tribute, and other imposts, which they deposited in the sub- 
treasuries without legitimate profit to themselves. ''Pour obier a ces 
inconvenients, l'Inspecteur Galvez vient de demander et d'obtenir l'etab- 
lissement d 'intendants" (Croix, Instruction, in Correspondance, 264). 

226 The Expedition of 1767 

been that of Potosi, and the collection of the tribute was enforced. 
The collection of this capitation tax was placed in the hands of 
the foremen of the mining gangs, who were allowed to retain 
for themselves a percentage of the weekly pay of the laborers 
equal to a small surplus over the amount of the tribute and the 
cost of the dispensations of the church {hulas de la Santa Cru- 
zada). By this arrangement the foremen were financially inter- 
ested in the efficient collection of these taxes, and the net income 
of the crown was thereby increased. 

6. Insurgency at Valladolid. — The licenciado Fernando de 
Torija was left in Guanajuato to see that the visitor's orders 
were obeyed and to conduct the visitation of the subtreasury. 
The sargento mayor, Felipe Barri (afterward governor of Cali- 
fornia), was left with three companies of native troops from 
Guadalajara to preserve order until the local militia could be 
armed and clothed with proper uniforms. 

From Guanajuato Galvez departed November 11 for Valla- 
dolid (Morelia), where he arrived on November 14. Here Juan 
Valera, who had come in the visitor 's suite from Spain, had been 
commissioned to conduct the preliminary examination of a num- 
ber of prisoners who had been engaged in public disorders. 
Associated in this work with Valera were Fernando Mangino, 
who had managed the expulsion of the Jesuits from Valladolid, 
Manuel Bustamente, a military officer, and the alcalde mayor 
of Valladolid. They were trying the cases of about 460 Indians 
who had been captured by a ruse in Patzcuaro and Uruapan 
and brought to Valladolid. These Indians had been acting as 
a guard for the Indian governor of Patzcuaro, Pedro de Soria 
Villaroel, who was suspected of fomenting a movement of men- 
acing proportions for independence. He was said by Galvez to 
have gained the allegiance to this movement of one hundred and 
thirteen villages, in which he was obeyed with a fidelity which 
threatened the Spanish dominion. Valera and his associates had 

Native Opposition to Militia 227 

made such progress in the preliminary examinations of the pris- 
oners that Galvez was ready in five days after his arrival to pass 
judgment on them. One resident of Valladolid was condemned 
to death and another to life imprisonment. Of the residents of 
Patzcuaro, the governor, Soria (also known as Armola), and a 
mulatto were condemned to death, and their heads were exposed 
on pikes over their homes. Twenty-four other Indians received 
two hundred stripes, twenty were imprisoned for life, and 
twenty-nine were banished. 

In Uruapan there had been riots when Felipe de Neve (after- 
ward governor of California) had gone there to enlist militia 
in September, 1766. Neve had also been driven out of Patzcuaro 
by a mob when he went to that place on the same errand. In 
October, 1766, the Regiment of America had lost a body of re- 
cruits, who were seized and taken away by the rabble. On May 
28, 1767, the lieutenant of the alcalde mayor of Patzcuaro had 
put Soria, the Indian governor, in jail, after disputes over the 
collection of the tribute. Soria 's followers took him out of the 
jail and committed other disturbances in the town. In other 
cases military officers had been dragged out of their houses at 
night and their lives menaced. A party of Spaniards going to 
the assistance of Galvez at Guanajuato had been stoned, and 
other similar offenses against the dominant race had been com- 
mitted. Galvez condemned ten men to be hung for implication 
in these numerous disturbances, twenty-four to be whipped, thir- 
teen to life imprisonment, and seventeen to be banished. As 
most of the disorders had attended the organization of militia, 
he sentenced the lower classes of the population to pay special 
levies for arms with which to equip the troops. The ayunta- 
mientos were assessed for funds for the uniforms. Leaving 
Valera to execute his sentences and a sargento mayor. Miguel 
Deza, to organize and equip the militia, the visitor set out for 
Mexico, where he arrived November 24, 1767. 

228 The Expedition of 1767 

He had been away from the capital four and one-half months 
on this expedition, the arduous labors of which had left him not 
more than three hours' daily rest. 

If I have been able [he wrote to Croix] to work with any success, and 
... to take any measures which merit the approval of yourself and the 
satisfaction of his Majesty in the zeal and fidelity with which we strive 
to serve him, this is the only reward I seek as the final recompense for 
my wakefulness and fatigue, that I may carry to my grave the inner 
satisfaction and consolation that I have not been a servant entirely use- 
less to my master and to my nation. 24 

7. Judgments on the expedition. — Viewed in the light of 
twentieth century standards, the severity of Galvez while upon 
this expedition can hardly be considered a cause for inner satis- 
faction or consolation. It is difficult to refrain from the judg- 
' Sj ment that his sentences were heartlessly cruel. During the trials 
no actual destruction of life was proven to have been committed 
by the turbulent natives, though some attempts at such violence 
had been made. Much property had been destroyed and a de- 
cidedly anti-Spanish spirit had been uncovered. Of 3000 persons 
brought to trial, all had been found "to have hearts full of 
malice and a desire to do the Spaniards mischief." 25 By the 
standards of today, these would be considered light offenses for 
the punishments inflicted. Eighty-five men had gone to death, 
seventy-three to the lash, six hundred and seventy-four had been 
condemned to term or life imprisonment, and one hundred and 
seventeen to banishment. We can have no knowledge of the 
number of women and children who were deprived of support 
by these sentences. "But I assure you before God, and with 
all sincerity," wrote Galvez, "that I have not upon my con- 
science the slightest scruple of having exceeded the limits of 
justice, for I mitigated my sentences always with clemency and 

24 Informe de el visitador, 75. 

25 Ibid. 

Unnecessary Harshness 229 

mercy/' 20 Perhaps if this statement had been strictly true, 
Galvez would not have felt impelled to utter it with such vehem- 
ence. Men rarely hurry to the defense of their consciences unless 
these have been challenged from within. One would like to 
know what one Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a youth of fourteen 
summers when Galvez came to his city of Valladolid, thought of 
the justice of the visitor-general. There was also Morelos, a 
child of only two short years, but even he may have remembered 
what he must then have seen. The generation which was to 
begin the revolutionary movement was old enough to have some 
recollection, if not to feel strongly the influence, of the person- 
ality of the militant reformer of New Spain. 

Contemporary opinion was divided in judgment of the execu- 
tions of the Indians. The anonymous author of the Providencias 
de Galvez was unbridled in his criticism, but he condemned every- 
thing that Galvez did. Pedro de Rada, secretary of the viceroy- 
alty, who was secretly commissioned by Arriaga to report to 
him on the activities of Galvez, likewise condemned the whole- 
sale punishment of the natives, declaring that the latter had 
desisted from all active insurrection before the time that Galvez 
went among them. But Rada was also an unconditional critic 
of everything that Galvez did. He wrote to Arriaga that horror 
filled the hearts of the people at the severe sentences of the 
visitor in Guanajuato. The miserable prisoners in the jails were 
crowded together, afflicted with a pest, and wished themselves 
dead. The tumults at Patzcuaro had been pardoned by the vice- 
roy, at the behest of the bishop, before Galvez went thither. 
The pictures of the chiefs of the conspiracies were being drawn, 
to send to the King, that his heart might be softened, for they 
would show how miserable was the condition of the natives, and 
how incapable they were of seditious enterprises. The depend- 
ents of Galvez left in Mexico had complete possession of the vice- 


26 Informe de el visitador, 76. 

230 The Expedition of 1767 

roy, whom they had caused to believe that a general uprising 
was imminent. Matias de Armona had put all the veteran troops 
on special guard of the capital on September 3 and 4, and they 
had patrolled the city. The gates of the palace were kept con- 
stantly shut, the viceroy secluded within, under the belief that 
he was in special danger. All classes of society, even the officers 
of justice, were terrorized at the actions of Galvez. 27 

The private comment of the viceroy on the events which have 
been related in the present chapter, made in a letter which he 
wrote to his brother not long after the return of Galvez to 
Mexico, is worthy of reproduction. 

The expatriation of the Jesuits has so increased my labors that, 
although I wrote you in June concerning it, I have not since then been 
able to inform you of the effect which the order of expulsion has pro- 
duced. Today I confess to you frankly, my dear brother, that I should 
never have come out of this ticklish business as well as I have if I had 
not decided to conceal from every one the order which I received, and to 
communicate it to none save the Senor Galvez, a minister of great trust- 
worthiness whom the King has here, and to your son. . . . Only in San 
Luis de la Paz, Guanajuato, and San Luis Potosi [the viceroy neglects to 
mention the troubles at Valladolid and Patzcuaro], which are all gold 
and silver mining camps, and thus full of the lowest rabble . . . have 

27 Pedro de Eada to Arriaga, Mexico, September 26, October 14, 17, 
November 18, December 21, 1767, A. G. de I., Estado, Aud. de Mex., Leg. 1, 
Doc. 99. Eada made himself non grata with Galvez and Croix, and was, 
at his own insistent request, recalled to Spain. He was replaced in the 
secretaryship by Martin Jose de Alegria (Eivera, Los Gobemantes de 
Mexico, I, 417). The viceroy evidently wrote to his nephew in France 
with some apprehension concerning the popular tumults and plots, for 
the nephew wrote to an unnamed correspondent the following story, 
which had not grown smaller with repetition: "II parait que les Indiens 
ont voulu faire des Vepres Siciliennes avec les Espagnols; ils etaient deja 
au nombre de 5 a 600 lorsqu'on decouvrit le complot; mon oncle [sic] les 
a poursuivis avec 3 ou 4000 hommes et en a pris 300 qu'il a fait pendre 
de suite; les autres se sont enfuis et enfermes dans un petit fort, ou ils 
sont bloques et subiront le meme sort" (letter of the Comte de Croix, 
Leganes, December 20, 1767, in Correspondance, 210). 

Later the viceroy wrote: "On vousa beaucoup exagere les souleve- 
ments de ce pays au depart des Jesuites; grace a mes precautions, je n 'en 
ai jamais ete inquiet et ma severite les degoutera de se revolter, comme 
ils Pont fait souvent autrefois" (Croix to Huechin, Mexico, July 26, 1768, 
in Correspondance, 214). 

Approved by the Viceroy 231 

there been uprisings. . . . These would have assumed a general character 
if I had not at the first intimation of trouble adopted the measure of 
sending thither Galvez with five hundred picked troops ... to punish 
those most at fault. He so well discharged his commission that within a 
few days after his arrival he re-established general quiet everywhere. 
I even believe that peace will be enduring, owing to the exemplary pun- 
ishment which the principal chiefs were made to suffer, and to the formation 
of a body of about 3000 militia, both infantry and cavalry, which Galvez 
found means of raising without their costing the King a cent for uniforms 
or arms, as he provided these from his own peculio (resources). 

Owing to lack of sufficient vessels for carrying the Fathers to Spain, 
the greater part of them are yet in Vera Cruz and its environs. But as 
the governor of Havana has just promised to send me a dozen vessels, I 
figure that within this month and the next I shall be entirely rid of them, 
excepting those of the California missions and the adjacent territory, who 
have not yet been able to reach the point of rendezvous. . . . The good 
Fathers are leaving us contentedly, at least in appearance, owing to the 
manner in which they have been cared for since their fall. But I believe 
that in their hearts they are in no wise pleased to be obliged to leave us. 
Every one is still weeping for them, at which there is no need for sur- 
prise. They were absolute masters of the hearts and consciences of all 
the inhabitants. . . . The value of the goods of all kinds which they leave 
amounts to a considerable sum. I am yet ignorant as to what disposition 
will be made of them, and until I know I shall deal with the property as 
did the Fathers in their time. 28 

How the events of the summer and fall of 1767 were viewed 
at Madrid, after a report on them had been received there from 
Croix, is best shown by a letter from Grimaldi to the viceroy, 
under date of December 22 of the same year. Grimaldi wrote : 

Your letter, brought by the last mail from America, has given great 
pleasure to me as well as to the King, to whom I read it entire. His 
Majesty formally orders me to indicate to you in his name how well he is 
satisfied with your conduct, your zeal, your activity, and with the candor 
with which you speak of the affairs of that country. 

28 Croix to Huechin, Mexico, December 24, 1767, in Varias Cartas del 
Marques de Croix; the same general tenor marks the letter of Croix, dated 
Mexico, December 27, 1767, which appears in the Correspondance, 210-11. 
In the latter work, pp. 292-3, is given a brief outline of the administrative 
programme adopted for taking over the estates of the expelled Jesuits. 


232 The Expedition of 1767 

His Majesty admires no less the generosity with which you praise 
M. de Galvez, who acts under your orders, while that minister reciprocates 
by giving credit to your zeal and your capacity, and attributes to you 
all that is well done. It is the fashion here to talk about men of merit, 
and it is great good fortune that you two have met in that vast empire, 
to remedy the evils and stop the thievery which arrest progress there. 

The King is probably going to recompense Galvez by naming him 
member of the Council of the Indies. Notice of this will be sent him, by 
the King .'s orders, through M. de Arriaga. 

You also do yourself honor, after having spoken of the punishments 
received by the chiefs of the rebels, when you speak in favor of the 
oppressed Indians. The punishment was just, but it is now necessary to 
remedy injustice, and the King charges me to sav to you that he counts 
upon you for the achievement of this end. 

Enforce the laws, even literally, for you have the necessary authority 
to do what you find desirable; the King will approve your decisions. 2 9 

8. Incipient revolution. — The discontent and disorder engen- 
dered by the expulsion of the Jesuits and by the new energy of 
the government in collecting taxes was not confined to the native 
population, upon whom Galvez had been visiting summary jus- 
tice. There was, during the period just examined, an abortive 
v movement toward separation from Spain, in which Creoles and 
half-breeds were involved. It has been shown that the commer- 
cial class was discontented on account of falling profits in busi- 
ness and restrictive regulations of trade. There was disaffec- 
tion among mine-owners, who feared rather than experienced 
loss from reduction of activity in many of the mines, while the 
mining properties of the north were rendered desolate by the 
incursions of rebel Indians. The clergy was distressed by loss 
of benefices and influence. The American-born Spaniards were 
coming to feel more and more the lack of opportunity which 
misfortune of birth brought upon them by keeping them out of 
the affairs of state. 

There was thought of establishing a republic, when it was 
realized that the equality which existed among the native nobility 

Correspondance, 212-3. 

Independence Deferred 233 

precluded success to an indigenous monarchy. Two commis- 
sioners were sent from Puebla to Spain to meet with a French- 
man, M. Guiller, who had proposed a plan of revolution. The 
aid of England was sought in the enterprise by making a promise 
to cede to that power Vera Cruz and San Juan de Ulloa, and to 
purchase no European goods except from the English. A treaty 
to this effect was drawn up, but England refused to accede to 
the proposal. The viceroy, uneasy on account of the plan, re- 
cruited ten companies of militia, and more troops were brought 
from Spain in 1768. The attempt at separation fell through 
when England refused to listen to the project, but it is easy to 
see that affairs in Mexico were even then ripening for the devel- 
opments of a generation later. 30 

so Eivera, Los Gobernantes de Mexico, II, 414-5; cf. Correspondence, 257. 
Bousseau, I. 228, pays scant attention to the expulsion from Mexico, and 
says that uprisings favoring the Jesuits were relatively insignificant; 
the moderation of the Company, which possessed formidable power, might 
be a cause for astonishment, but violence was no part of the practice of 
this able and politic order. Fr. Jose Granados y Galvez, a relative of the 
visitor who occupied ecclesiastical positions of importance in Michoacan 
and Valladolid, devotes a section (the sixteenth) of his Tardes Americanas, 
Gobiemo Gentil y Catolico, Breve y Particular Noticia de toda la Ristoria 
Indiana (Mexico, 1778) to fulsome praise of Galvez for his course in pun- 
ishing the provincial rioters. Granados believed Spanish dominion was 
menaced (see the Tarde decimasexta, pp. 441-471). 


When Galvez had returned to Mexico from his expedition to 
the mining regions of Guanajuato and San Luis Potosi and to 
the district about Valladolid, he began to turn an anxious eye 
to conditions on the remoter northern frontier, where the power 
of Spain was suffering in a long drawn out contest with the 
Indians of Sonora and Nueva Vizcaya. During the entire period 
of his residence in New Spain he had been endeavoring to obtain 
funds with which to despatch a military expedition to these prov- 
inces. Not only did the military situation need attention, but, 
after the expulsion of the Jesuits, there was special need of 
providing a government for the peninsula of California, and of 
reorganizing the religious and civil affairs of the northern main- 
land provinces. Added to these needs for a strong hand on the 
frontier was the newly revived fear of Russian aggression from 
the north along the Pacific shoreline — a menace to the existence 
of New Spain. 

1. Plans to subdue the northwest. — The activities of Galvez 
in relation to the frontier dated from the beginning of his efforts 
to co-operate with Cruillas to effect obedience to the royal order 
issued in October, 1764, for the prompt pacification of the In- 
dians of the northern provinces. Quarrels between Cruillas and 
Villalba had delayed effective obedience to the King's wishes. 
No sooner had Galvez arrived in Mexico than he effected a re- 
union between the two military chiefs, and four juntas de gen- 
erates were held during September, 1765, to plan measures for 
the reconquest of the frontier. These juntas planned to send a 
military expedition north at the beginning of 1766, while, as a 
temporary measure, two companies of infantry were despatched 

Provision of Ways and Means 235 

thither at once. 1 Galvez, at his own request, was intrusted with 
the important task of obtaining money to finance the expedition, 
for there was none in the treasury for the purpose. It was 
decided that flying companies of presidial soldiers and settlers, 
the latter to be paid only while on active duty, should be organ- 
ized and sent against the rebels. Two brigantines were to be 
built on the Pacific Coast for transporting to Sonora a "formal 
expedition." The construction of such vessels for the commer- 
cial needs of the west coast had often been urged by the Council 
of the Indies upon the government of New Spain and upon that 
of Nueva Galicia alike ; hence it was felt that the measure would 
now be approved by the King, because there was an actual 

During the conflict of authority into which Galvez and Cru- 
illas were drawn, activity in regard to the frontier was again 
halted, and it was not until June 17, 1766, that the visitor was 
able to make a report to the King that progress had been made 
in collection of funds. From the consulados of Cadiz and Mexico, 
from a number of the bishops, from certain ecclesiastical bodies 
and some individuals, about 200,000 pesos had been promised, so 
that Galvez believed or hoped that the expedition could be made 
"without cost to the royal treasury." This hope was vain, as 
will appear later. On November 19 the King approved of the 
activities of Galvez in collecting funds, but expressed grave 
doubts as to the efficacy of a formal expedition, part of the plan 
for which included transporting to the frontier large numbers 
of settlers, to be drawn from the restless, undesirable class of 
poor residents of the large cities. The King did not share the 
belief of Galvez that these people would make a formidable bul- 
wark against future aggressions of the savages. 

When Croix assumed the viceroyalty plans for the expedi- 
tionary movement were pushed with greater vigor than they had 

1 Galvez, Informe General, 140 ; Galvez to Arriaga, Puebla, October 15, 
1765; 88-5-20. See above, pp. 139-40. 

236 Galvez in Lower California 

been under Cruillas. On December 6, 1766, a junta decided that 
the troops should move north as soon as possible. Another junta, 
held January 8, 1767, and composed, like the one preceding, of 
Croix, Galvez, Juan Fernando de Palacios, Antonio Ricardos 
(these two mariscales de campo), and Diego Cornide, the vice- 
roy's assessor, agreed to send to the frontier 400 soldiers. Two 
hundred of these were to be veteran dragoons and two hundred 
were to be fusiliers, half of the latter to be brought from Havana. 
The Havana troops were found to be unavailable, and a company 
of Catalonian volunteers was sent from Spain for the expedition. 
Some of these Catalonians afterwards marched under Lieutenant 
Pedro Fages on the Monterey expedition of 1769. From the 
five Sonora presidios two hundred more troops were to be put 
in the field. One hundred and ten militiamen in flying com- 
panies, and three hundred Indian auxiliaries, brought the number 
of the force to be used in Sonora up to 1100, aside from some 
volunteer officers drawn from the Guanajuato militia, who were 
to go as leaders of the projected frontier settlements. The ex- 
pense for a year 's campaign was estimated at about 70,000 pesos. 
None of this sum was to be taken from the royal coffers, as 
Galvez assured his associates in the plan that he could pay for 
the brigantines, which cost 70,000 pesos, from the 100,000 pesos 
lent by the consulado of Cadiz. Two individuals had furnished 
90,000 pesos, and the consulado of Mexico had advanced another 
100,000 pesos as a loan, for the repayment of which a two-tenths 
per cent of the averia duty was hypothecated. Galvez repre- 
sented to Croix that this 100,000 was a gift, and was chided by 
the King for failure to specify in his report to Madrid that it 
was not. 2 All told, about 300,000 pesos were to be used on the 

2 "II [Croix] avait la plus grande confiance dans les vastes connais- 
sances, surtout en matiere de finance, du visiteur Galvez et appuya ses 
projets, notamment celui pour les Intendants, quoique ce dernier n 'etait 
ete applique qu'en 1787" (Extrait des archives de Mexico, Correspondance, 

Elizondo's Expedition 237 

expedition ; as it eventuated, much more was expended. Galvez 
expected to colonize the frontier as a result of the success of the 
military expedition with 40,000 persons from the district of the 
City of Mexico. The King considered the idea desirable but 
requiring very accurate planning, and ordered the viceroy to 
hold a junta to determine who should be charged with the ex- 
ecution of so comprehensive a scheme. This order was dated 
July 20, 1767. Hence it is apparent that Galvez had, previous 
to that date by at least one mail, offered to head the expedition 
himself. 3 

During the month of April, 1767, the military expedition 
proper, composed of about three hundred and fifty troops under 
Colonel Domingo Elizondo, whom Galvez had befriended in a 
quarrel which the former had with Cruillas over a question of 
military etiquette, set out from Mexico for Tepic on the west 
coast. Here the troops were to be quartered until the completion 
of the brigantines, which were to carry them to Sonora. 4 Eli- 
zondo did not arrive at Guaymas until March 10, 1768, the com- 
pletion of the brigantines having been delayed. The movement 
of the troops against the Indians began in the same month. Some 
account of the military activities will appear later in the nar- 
rative. 5 

The despatch of this expedition was not accomplished with- 
out great effort and much planning on the part of Galvez. His 

3 Teodoro de Croix, in a private letter of May 29, 1767, says of the 
Sonora expedition: "J'espere aller avec M. le visiteur general cette 
annee ou Pan prochain; il a demande a aller y fonder des etablissements 
et a m'emmener, comme le seul a qui il put se fier" (Correspondence, 207). 
I. B. Bichman, California Under Spain and Mexico (Boston, 1911), 396, 
says that Galvez states in his Informe General of 1771 that he offered in 
1765 to go to the frontier. Galvez does state that the juntas de generales 
were held in 1765, and that he offered to go, but the time when he made 
the offer is not specified. It would be of interest to determine this date, 
as it would shed some light as to when Galvez conceived the idea of the 
occupation of California, but the exact time has not been determined 
from any document discovered in the course of the present study. 

4 Croix to Arriaga, Mexico, April 25, 1767, No. 19, 104-3-2. 

s Extracto de documentos referentes a la expedition de Sonora, 104-3-2. 

238 Gdlvez in Lower California 

opponents in Mexico always looked upon the venture as chimer- 
ical ; the King himself lacked enthusiasm for it. A letter written 
by Galvez in confidence to the governor of Sonora, Juan Pineda, 
shows what subtle means the visitor would use to accomplish his 
ends. The letter bears no date, but contains internal evidence 
of having been written in the fall of 1766. Commending Pineda 
for the zeal with which he had executed some unnamed commis- 
sion of Galvez, the latter promises that Pineda's merits shall be 
rewarded by the government. After this inexpensive sop to 
official pride, Pineda is reminded how important is the project 
of sending the expedition, but that it will require some argument 
and urging to induce the new viceroy to have it ordered de- 
spatched, for that minister was being discouraged from doing so 
by enemies of Galvez, who said that it would cost an inordinate 
sum, and ultimately prove a failure. He went on : 

From this information, which I give you informally and confidentially, 
you will infer how necessary it is . . . that you impress upon his Ex- 
cellency at once the indispensable need of the expedition . . . and inform 
him that it is not impossible [to conquer the Indians once and for all by 
force], if the plan is adopted of sending thither veteran troops. You 
may add anything else which will remove the fear or hesitation which 
perverse envious persons desire to instill into his Excellency's mind 
through sheer malignity. . . . 

The Marques de Croix, I repeat to you, esteems my discourse above 
that of all others, but as he observes that I am of another profession 
[not military], and as he knows that I have not been in that country, he 
may lack confidence in the success of the expedition, to which he sees 
me with the greatest ardor committed. Hence it is fitting that you, in 
your report to him, express yourself as forcefully as you did for the 
purpose of arousing enthusiasm in me — a golilla [mere lawyer] ; in this 
case this will be the easier to do, as his instincts are all military. 

That your report may not be delayed, I am sending this letter by the 
courier which brought your latest letters, of August. It may be that his 
Excellency will not write to you by this mail which I am sending, but 
you, upon receipt of news of his arrival to assume command of the vice- 
royalty, may send him such a report, giving him account of everything. 

e Galvez to Pineda, without place or date, 104-6-9. 

Plans for Reconquest 239 

Whatever response Pineda may have made to this broad sug- 
gestion, the viceroy lent his support to the plan for the expedi- 
tion more readily than Galvez had anticipated ; the junta of 
December 6, above mentioned, took up the idea with vigor ; it may 
be that the influence of Pineda had some effect upon its decision. 

3. Galvez to reform the frontier. — The order of the King 
requiring a junta to determine who should head the frontier 
expedition was obeyed by Croix on January 21, 1768. It is not 
surprising that this junta chose Galvez himself to go to the 
northern provinces to reorganize the affairs of government and 
establish colonies, just as soon as the military forces should have 
restored peace. The time for his departure was set for the 
middle of April ; he was to go invested with the full powers of 
the viceroy, as he had previously gone when on the Guanajuato 
expedition. This permission was enough for the time being, but 
on February 21 the visitor presented to Croix a detailed plan for 
his journey, which was submitted to the reconvened junta on 
February 25. This junta, like that of January 21, was com- 
posed of Croix, Galvez, Lorenzana, archbishop of Mexico, Jose 
Eodriguez de Toro, Ambrosio Melgarejo Santaella (both oidores 
of the audiencia), Jose Antonio de Areche, fiscal del crimen, 
Diego Cornide, the viceroy's assessor, Colonel Miguel Panes, and 
the brevet-colonel Jose Bassare, superintendent of the custom- 
house of Mexico and ex-president of the audiencia of Guadala- 
jara. 7 The junta acceded to the desires of Galvez as expressed 
in each of the fourteen proposals of his plan. Galvez himself 
did not vote in the junta, but Juan Manuel Viniegra, his secre- 
tary at the time, says that he controlled the body, and dictated 
its decision three days before it met. 8 

7 Acuerda la junta la conveniencia de pasar el visitador Galvez a Cali- 
fornias, Sonora y Nueva Vizcaya, 104-3-2. 

s Juan Manuel de Viniegra, Sobre Galvez en America; apunte instructibo 
de la expedition que . . . Galvez . . . hizo a la peninsula de California, 
probincias de Sonora y Nueva Vizcaya, A. H. N., Estado, Leg. 2845, pp. 

240 Galvez in Lower California 

Briefly, the details of the plan of Galvez for his northern 
expedition, as contained in the fourteen points which he sub- 
mitted to the viceroy, and which were confirmed verbatim by the 
junta, were as follows: 

First, it was agreed that Galvez should go to the frontier in 
his capacity of visitor-general and intendant, but also with the 
express authorization of the viceroy to act as his lugar teniente 
(literally, his "place-taker") ; all officers of the frontier were 
to be apprised of his possession of this power, by virtue of which 
they were to be directly subject to his orders. 

Second, he was to leave Mexico on April 1, instead of in the 
middle of the month, as the first junta had voted, so that he 
could sail from San Bias for California before sea conditions 
should become unfavorable with the advancing season. 

Third, the goods and funds destined by pious foundations 
for the propagation of the faith in California and found existing 
in the procuraduria general of the Jesuit missions at the time of 
their sequestration should be kept distinct from all other Jesuit 
funds and used for the payment of the salaries of the Francis- 
cans in the peninsula and for the expenses of founding new 
Indian towns near the established missions of the new province. 

Fourth, the appropriation (situado) for the two presidios and 
for the two vessels used for communication with California, which 
amounted to 32,525 pesos annually, should be temporarily con- 
tinued ; the existing delinquency of two years ' payments of this 

25-26; this document was prepared by Viniegra in 1773 at the request of 
Arriaga. Viniegra had been removed from his secretaryship and impris- 
oned, in company with his confreres, Azanza (afterwards viceroy of New 
Spain) and Argiiello, for having written to his friends and to the viceroy 
that Galvez had become insane during the Sonora campaign. The docu- 
ment here cited is in support of his plea for reinstatement in the govern- 
ment service. Its statements, so far as they can be checked up by the 
official reports, are in the main correct, though the writer's wrongs at the 
hand of the visitor colored his judgments with great bitterness, and his 
characterizations of his former superior are harsh to the point of lack of 
dignity. Nevertheless Viniegra 's petition, hitherto unused, furnishes much 
valuable data for the account of the California and Sonora expedition. 

Permanent Defense 241 

appropriation, which had been borrowed from the Jesuits ' funds, 
should be paid up. 

Fifth, San Lucas, being the point of the peninsula most ex- 
posed to foes who might come by sea, should, at the discretion 
of Galvez, be defended by the garrison then at Loreto, within 
the Gulf of California. 

Sixth, when frontier towns should have been established so 
that Sonora and Nueva Vizcaya were protected from Indian 
raids, Galvez was to report to the viceroy a scheme for reforming 
the line of frontier presidios so that some of the eleven existing 
ones could be eliminated, thereby relieving the exchequer of a 
part of the intolerable burden of their support. 

Seventh, with this idea of reducing expense for the presidios, 
it was understood that the frontier towns which Galvez was to 
establish were to be peopled with armed colonists who were to 
compose a provincial militia which could subsist upon its own 
frontier resources. It was also understood that Galvez was to 
apportion individual and communal lands to all settlers, whether 
Indians or Spaniards, upon the same plan as was then being 
used for the establishment of colonists in the Sierra Morena in 
Spain. 9 

9 Ferrer del Eio, Historia del Beinado de Carlos III, III, 5-57, presents 
a well written chapter on the Sierra Morena colonies, in which the state 
documents are used. Briefer mention is made of them in Fernan-Nunez, 
Vida de Carlos III (Madrid, reprint, 1898, Libros de' Antano, vols. 14, 15), 
I, 223-4, and II, 68-9; see also Joseph Addison, Charles III of Spain, 
121-3. The plan for these colonies, written by Muzquiz and Campomanes, 
and printed in the Novisima Becopilacion, libro 7, titulo 22, ley 3, is, says 
Eousseau: "The image of an ideal society, such as was conceived by 
economists of the Aranda school, a society [of German and Flemish col- 
onists] without elderships (majorat), without restraints of any kind, 
without mortmain, without friars or other religious, without doctors 
(professors), with primary schools obligatory; with municipal offices tem- 
porary and elective instead of salable and permanent; without the mesta 
(court of the flock and herd keepers), even without horned cattle save for 
labor, with cottages sprinkled over the arable fields, each having its own 
enclosure, etc." (Cited from Joaquin Costa, Colectivismo agrario en 
Espana, Madrid, 1898, p. 118.) See Eousseau, II, 44-54. 

242 Gdlvez in Lower California 

Eighth, for the expenses of these new settlements Galvez was 
to be granted the third part of such sums as his efforts might 
add to the royal revenues of the frontier provinces. In this way, 
according to the visitor, no real expense would fall upon the 
treasury, while the public funds would be twice repaid by the 
advantages which his measures would probably produce. 

Ninth, on the frontier of Sonora, midway between California 
and Nueva Vizcaya, Galvez was to establish a town which should 
later become the seat of government for a new comandancia 
general and a new bishopric. 

Tenth, two or three persons from each company of the pro- 
vincial militia already organized were to be allowed to volunteer 
to go with Galvez to establish the new towns in the frontier 

Eleventh, free commerce should be declared between the 
peninsula of California and Sonora ; annual fairs should be held 
in Guaymas and Loreto. San Bias and Acapulco should be made 
free ports (puertos habilitados) , whence goods might be shipped 
duty free in the new brigantines and in other public vessels, with 
moderate freight charges, for the Gulf voyage. 

Twelfth, the viceroy should give Galvez 1000 quintals of 
mercury on his Majesty's account, to be taken to California and 
Sonora to sell at reduced prices for the advancement of mining, 
so that increased revenue might be obtained through added pro- 
duction of the precious metals. 10 For the same object, one hun- 

10 In 1590 mercury sold in Mexico for 187 pesos per quintal. By 1750 
the price had descended to 82 pesos. Between 1767 and 1776 it was sold 
at 62 pesos. When Galvez became minister of the Indies the price of 
mercury from the mines of Almaden was fixed at 41 pesos 2 reals. Ger- 
man quicksilver, imported, was valued at 63 pesos. The miners paid the 
freight to the point of delivery, the added cost amounting at Guanajuato 
to two and a half pesos. The royal treasury profited twenty -three per cent 
on its German mercury. The price of quicksilver had a marked effect 
upon its consumption. In 1762-66 the price was 82 pesos, when 35, 750 
quintals were consumed; in 1767-71 the price was 62 pesos, when 42, 000 
quintals were consumed; in 1772-77 the price was 62 pesos, when 53, 000 
quintals were consumed; in 1778-82 the price was 41 pesos, when 59, 000 
quintals were consumed (Humboldt, Political Essay, III, 283, 285). 

Departure from Mexico 243 

dred and fifty or two hundred quintals of gunpowder were to 
be furnished, and permission was granted in advance that more 
might be manufactured in California if necessary, as it was sup- 
posed that there were in the peninsula abundant beds of sulphur 
which could be so utilized. 

Thirteenth, for all the objects of the commission Galvez was 
to have power to appoint at San Bias, in California, Sonora, and 
Nueva Vizcaya all ministers of government and real hacienda 
whom he might deem necessary, subject only to later approval 
by the viceroy and the confirmation of the King. 

Fourteenth, as the expedition would necessitate personal ex- 
penses greater than the salary of the visitor would suffice for, 
these were to be met from the public funds of the expedition. 11 

Croix reported the unanimously favorable action of the junta 
on these propositions to Arriaga by letter of February 29, refer- 
ring to the enterprise upon which Galvez was embarking as the 
greatest which had been undertaken in New Spain since the days 
of the Conquest. He lauded the zeal of the visitor and besought 
royal approval of the details of the plan. This was granted by 
royal order of September 20, 1768, Galvez being at that time in 
the midst of his operations in California, having unhesitatingly 
assumed that approval would be forthcoming. 12 

Preparations for his expedition being completed, Galvez, ac- 
companied by a retinue which included a number of persons 
from Guanajuato and San Luis Potosi who intended to settle on 
the frontier, set out from Mexico on April 9. The visitation of 
the tribunals and of the royal treasuries was left in the hands 
of Juan Antonio Valera and Bartolome Montenegro. Litigation 
of the visitation was placed in charge of Jose Antonio Areche, 
fiscal of the audiencia. 13 On the 22nd of April the visitor ar- 

ii Acuerda la junta, etc., cited above. Galvez to Croix, Mexico, Feb- 
ruary 21, 1768, 104-3-2. 

i 2 Croix to Arriaga, Mexico, February 29, 1768; Arriaga to Croix, San 
Ildephonso, September 20, 1768; 104-3-2; Galvez, Informe General, 141. 

1 3 Rivera Cambas, Los Gobernantes de Mexico, I, 416. 

244 Gdlvez in Lower California 

rived at Guadalajara. Here his subdelegate of the visitation, 
Eusebio Ventura Beleha, had been at work for a year. He had 
previously been intrusted with the expulsion of the Jesuits and 
the sequestration of their estates, and had now just finished the 
visitation of the subtreasury. All this work was ready for the 
final judgment of the visitor at the time of his arrival. On 
May 2 Galvez, in strong contrast with his course everywhere else, 
pronounced every official connected with the subtreasury or with 
the audiencia of Guadalajara to have been upright and faithful 
in discharge of duty. Several of them he mentioned by name in 
his report, recommending them for increases in salary. 14 

While he was in Guadalajara, Galvez appeared- in person be- 
fore the audiencia, showed his commission, and enlisted the sym- 
pathy of that court for his enterprises. Concluding his stay, 
he departed for San Bias on May 4. No sooner had he gone than 
Beleiia appeared before the audiencia and asked that body to 

14 Manifesto de la conducta observada por Eusebio Bentura Beleiia . . . 
April 9, 1772, 104-3-3. This document, submitted by Belefia to Bucarely 
in support of the former's petition for re-employment after having been 
discharged by Galvez, is a long account of the career of Beleha, particu- 
larly of his experiences as subdelegate of Galvez. Like many others, 
Beleha incurred the wrath of the visitor by writing letters which men- 
tioned the latter 's mental incompetence during a part of the Sonora cam- 
paign. He was not imprisoned, nor were charges brought against him, 
but he was removed from his employment just as he was about to be 
confirmed as first intendant of Sonora and Sinaloa, a position in which 
he actually functioned without formal appointment. The visitor placed 
Pedro Corbalan in the position to which he had recommended Belefia. 
This was due in some degree to dissatisfaction concerning the course 
pursued by Beleiia in subduing a revolt among the Eio Fuerte Indians in 
Sonora; Galvez believed that Beleiia was responsible for the fact that the 
war in Sonora was so protracted. There was also some suspicion that 
Galvez bore a grudge against Belefia because the latter sent a fine nugget 
of gold from the Bacubirito mines to the King direct, instead of through 
his immediate superiors. 

Belefia was a man of great ability and learning. He had taken uni- 
versity degrees in both civil and canonical law, and had begun to study 
for holy orders when he was taken into the service of the viceroy and the 
visitor. He was the author of several legal works of standing. At the 
time of the death of Bernardo de Galvez, nephew of the visitor and vice- 
roy of New Spain, Belena was regente of the audiencia, having recovered 
government favor under Bucarely. 

The Audiencia of Guadalajara 245 

write to the King approving all measures projected by Galvez, 
including the plan for a naval station at San Bias, a new govern- 
ment mint, and a new subtreasury for the frontier. Particularly 
did Belefia ask the audiencia to congratulate the King upon the 
fact that Galvez had been the one chosen to execute all these 
plans. The audiencia did as Belena requested, forwarding a 
glowing account of all that Galvez planned, and recommending 
his activity to the King, under date of May 18. One of the 
oidores, hoAvever, Ramon Gonzales Becerra, opined that the audi- 
encia was overzealous and officious in doing this, inasmuch as the 
affairs which it had ventured to discuss were entirely under con- 
trol of the viceroy and the junta which had voted for the journey 
of Galvez. Becerra wrote to the King, expressing his disapproval 
of the recommendation by the audiencia, though his own name 
had been signed to it, under protest. There is no direct evidence 
that Belena made this request of the audiencia at the suggestion 
of Galvez, but it is a matter of record that Becerra was later 
made to feel the visitor's disapproval, as he was suspended from 
his position upon the charge that he had needlessly absented him- 
self from meetings of the audiencia. 15 

On the second day of his journey toward San Bias from 
Guadalajara, Galvez was overtaken by a courier from the viceroy, 
bearing a despatch from Grimaldi ordering measures to be taken 
for preserving California from encroachments by the Russians, 
who were reported to be making rapid progress in the occupation 
of the Pacific Coast from Alaska southward, though it was not 
known how far south they had advanced. That their movement 
was in some force was believed from the rumor that three hun- 

15 Becerra to the King, Guadalajara, June 14, 1768, 104-2-13. 

!6 Grimaldi to Croix, Madrid, January 23, 1768, Mexico, Archivo Gen- 
eral, Eeales cedulas y ordenes, 92, f. 58, Bolton transcripts. On the rumors 
of Eussian aggression see Miguel Costanso, Diario Historico (Publications 
of the Academy of Pacific Coast History, Vol. I, Berkeley, 1910), 91-159; 
another translation appears in the Land of Sunshine, Vol. XIV, 486-96, 
XV, 38-49, Los Angeles, 1901; see also Eichman, California under Spain 
and Mexico, Chapter V, and note, p. 396. 

246 Gdlvez in Lower California 

dred Russians had been killed in battle with American Indians. 16 
The viceroy's letter to Galvez, enclosing Grimaldi's order, 
was dated April 30. Galvez, replying to this letter on May 20, 
said : 

In fulfillment of his Majesty's order communicated to you on January 
23 by the Marques de Grimaldi, concerning repeated attempts which the 
Eussians have made to open communication with North America, and in 
consequence also of what you command in your letter of April 30, inclos- 
ing a copy of the above-mentioned order, and recalling to mind the many 
conversations and reflections which we have previously had concerning 
the supreme importance and utility of taking possession of the port of 
Monterey and establishing there a presidio, I am obeying your order to 
take such measures as I deem fitting for reaching that place by land or 
sea. As you leave to me discretion for the fulfillment of this order, it 
has seemed to me both fitting and necessary that I should inform you 
from here of the resolution which it was thought proper to take in this 
weighty matter. i? 

3. Occupation of Alta California planned. — It is evident that 
Galvez wished before leaving Mexico to effect the occupation of 
Monterey, but there is not yet complete evidence that he had 
determined to do so before receiving Grimaldi's order. The 
anonymous author of the Providencias de Galvez referred to in 
Chapter V 18 says that Antonio Ricardos went to Spain in 1767 
and urged the occupation of Monterey upon Grimaldi, and that 
this was the means whereby Galvez worked upon the apprehen- 
sion of that minister. This statement is borne out by that made 
in the project for the establishment of a comandancia general 
in the northern provinces : ' ' Don Antonio Ricardos left here 
last year for the purpose of making a well-ordered memorial con- 
cerning [foreign attempts at establishment on the Pacific Coast] 
from facts more readily obtainable in Europe [than in New 
Spain]." 19 If Ricardos influenced Grimaldi in Galvez' behalf 

17 Galvez to Croix, San Bias, May 20, 1768, 104-3-2. 

is See Chapter V, note 9. 

io Expediente sobre una eapitania general, 1768, 103-3-23. 

The Department of San Bias 247 

we have no authoritative statement of that fact. It is not likely 
that such influence was greatly needed. We only know that 
Galvez reached San Bias on May 13. Here he had established 
a naval base, on the advice, it was said, of a merchant, one 
Manuel Rivero Cordero, to whom was given the contract for 
putting up such buildings as were needed and making other 
improvements. It was not considered a favorable place for 
docks, as the harbor was small and bad and the water shallow. 20 
The town was an inhospitable place, the climate was hot and 
sickening, and the air full of insect pests from the swamps. Yet 
Galvez ' ' maintained a calm exterior so as not to discredit a town 
which he had founded at great expense, and which he desired to 
maintain. ' ' 21 

The visitor remained in San Bias two weeks, attending to 
affairs of the visitation and preparing for the voyage to Cali- 
fornia. Among his measures taken at that place were the fol- 
lowing : Diego Fernandez, a mining expert who was with Galvez, 
was ordered to inspect all gold and silver mines in the Tres 
Marias Islands, California, Sonora, Sinaloa, and Nueva Vizcaya, 
and arrange their affairs. Manuel Rivero Cordero, who was 
building the port, was encouraged to go on with the work, which 
included erection of houses, the building of roads, and the com- 
pletion of the dock. A recommendation was sent to the viceroy, 
urging the early occupation of the Tres Marias as an outpost 

2 Pedro de Eada to Arriaga, Mexico, December 21, 1767, A. G. de I, 
Estado, Aud. de Mex., Leg. 1, Doc. 99. 

21 Viniegra, So~bre Galvez en America, A. H. N., Leg. 2845, 28. The 
maintenance of this maritime center, with its department, was a bone of 
contention for many years. The inadaptability of the harbor, owing to 
the shifting sands of its bottom, as well as the noxious climate of the 
port, were frequently urged against its utility, and it was more than once 
on the point of abandonment. It continued to be an important harbor, 
however, especially when, after the development of the whaling industry 
and the fur trade on the Pacific, large numbers of foreign vessels began 
to frequent the west coast (Revillagigedo, Instruction Beservada, arts. 703, 
707). See also C. E. Chapman, "Difficulties of Maintaining the Depart- 
ment of San Bias, 1775-1777," in The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, 
Vol. XIX, No. 3 (January, 1916), pp. 261-70. 

248 Galvez in Lower California 

against foreign aggression. Especial care was to be taken lest 
the Russians should come unawares. Regulations were made 
concerning the wages to be paid to laborers, fishermen, etc., and 
rates of freight and passage across the gulf in the royal vessels 
were established. All the revenues of real hacienda were placed 
in the care of Juan de Urrengoechea, who was made accountant 
(contador) of the port of San Bias. The production of salt was 
regulated by instructions, and its refinement and sale were pro- 
hibited except under permission to be granted by the governor. 22 

The most important work done at San Bias was that of a 
junta which decided upon the details of the proposed voyage to 
San Diego and Monterey by the new brigantines, the "San 
Carlos" and the "San Antonio," which were the largest and 
strongest vessels on the coast. The junta was composed of Galvez, 
the engineer Miguel Costanso, the comandante de la marina 
Manuel Rivero Cordero, Antonio Faveau y Quesada, mathema- 
tician and pilot, and Vicente Vila, pilot of the royal navy. The 
decision of this body was that a voyage to Monterey should be 
undertaken in June or July either from San Bias or Cape San 
Lucas. At the same time a land expedition should be sent from 
the northern missions of California to take possession of Monterey 
and build a presidio. Preparations were to begin at once for 
collecting materials to be carried by the two brigantines, which 
were yet absent on the expedition to Guaymas with troops for 
the Sonora war. The vessels were to be sent to Cape San Lucas 
as soon as they returned to San Bias. Details as to route and 
personnel of the crews were also arranged, and included the 
sending of Costanso as engineer, to draw maps of the ports to be 
occupied. 23 *._■ 

On May 24 Galvez left San Jlas in the bilander "Cinaloa," 

22 Galvez to Croix, San Bias, May 18, 20, 22, 24 (fourteen documents), 

23 Acuerda la junta, May 16, 17' , ] 4-3-3; see also Costanso, op. et 
loc. cit. 

4. Jesuit Map of California, reproduced from the Eistoire naturclic it virile de la CaUfornie (Paris, 1767 

of the Noticia de la California written in 1739 by Miguel Venegas and published in 1757 by Andres Marcos Burriel. 

In the Path of Cortes 249 

bis party embarking in the packet "Concepcion" and the bark 
"Pison." After seven days' sailing, the "Cinaloa" was forced 
to anchor at Isabella Island on account of a storm. Four days 
later the ' ' Cinaloa ' ' put in at the Tres Marias, the other vessels 
having previously been lost sight of. This group of islands was 
thoroughly explored by Galvez during a six days' sojourn, dur- 
ing which time he took formal possession of them in the King's 
name. It is said that he left an inscription carved on the tallest 
tree of the southeastern island of the group which read : ' ' Galvez 
took possession for Spain in June, 1768. " 24 Sailing from the 
Tres Marias on June 13, the "Cinaloa" was driven to Mazatlan, 
where Galvez remained until July 2, and reached Cerralvo, in 
Lower California, on July 5. 25 

At last, after a journey of forty days from San Bias, the 
visitor had arrived in the land of his golden dreams — California. 
The "San Antonio" and the "San Carlos" were nearly three 
months in reaching La Paz, affording an interval in which Galvez 
put forth incessant efforts to organize the affairs of the peninsula, 
this being his original mission there. So much has been written 
concerning Galvez in California, especially in regard to his meas- 
ures for the missions and for the Monterey expeditions, that it 
would be an ungrateful task to attempt to reiterate the details 
of his nearly ten months of activities there in connection with 
those affairs. The concern of the present writer is to emphasize 

24 Viniegra, 29. The Providencias de Galvez varies the wording of the 
inscription slightly. 

25 Viniegra, op. et loc. cit.; see also Eichman, 397, note 11; letter of 
Croix, Mexico, August 25, 1768; in Correspondance, 214-5; another letter 
by Croix, dated December 29, 1768, says in part: " Quant a M. de Galvez, 
visitador general, il est arrive le 5 du mois en Calif ornie et, d 'apres ses 
lettres, cette peninsule rendra beaucoup au Eoi par ses mines d 'or et 
d 'argent qui sont inexploitees jusqu 'a present, mais pourront bientot 
l'etre grace aux mesures que prend ce ministre. " 

Again, on December 29, the viceroy wrote: "La Calif ornie, qui a 
toujours passe pour un pays entierement sterile, pourra des l'annee pro- 
chaine maintenir par elle-meme tous ses habitants sans qu'il en coute un 
sou au Eoi" (Correspondance, 216). 

250 Galvez in Lower California 

the fact that the errand of Galvez in California was primarily 
to increase the royal revenues. The interests of the missions 
were quite secondary to this ; even the Monterey expedition, un- 
dertaken as a measure of national defense, was considered the 
initial step in adding a rich domain which would increase not 
only the area but the riches of New Spain and, of course, the 
revenues. Whatever there may have been of personal ambition 
in the project, it was the prospect of increased national wealth 
that gave color and warrant to the undertaking. 26 

4. Peninsular missions reorganized. — When Galvez arrived 
in California the peninsula was under the control of its first 
governor, Gaspar de Portola, who had been sent to expel the 
Jesuits and install the Franciscans of San Fernando in the re- 
linquished missions. The Franciscans had been in control of the 
spiritual affairs only of the fifteen missions since the preceding 
April 9. Beside the missions, the chief activity of the peninsula 
was confined to the royal mining camp of Santa Ana, where 
Manuel Oslo had a farm. In this camp Galvez took up his abode 
and prepared for his work. On July 12 he announced to Serra, 
president of the missions, his arrival, and asked for reports on 
the status of the country, its inhabitants, and the condition of 
the missions. 27 Meanwhile he undertook a personal inspection 
of the missions of the southern part of the peninsula. He found 
that all the establishments had suffered from the management 
of the soldier commissaries to whom Portola had been obliged 
under the viceroy's orders to confide the temporal affairs of the 

20 Among the principal authorities on Galvez in California may be 
mentioned the following: Francisco Palou, Nolicias de la Nueva California, 
in Documentos para la Historia de Mexico, Cuarta serie, VI, and VII (Mexico, 
1857, also San Francisco, 1874, 4 vols.) ; Palou, Belacion Historica de la 
Vida . . . de . . . Junipero Serra (Mexico, 1787); Bancroft, History of 
California (San Francisco, 1884-90), I; North Mexican States (San Fran- 
cisco, 1884-89), I; Eichman, op. cit., Chapter V, and notes; Fr. Zephyrin 
Engelhardt, The Missions and Missionaries of California, I, Lower California 
(San Francisco, 1908). 

27 Galvez to Serra, Cerralvo, July 12, 1768, Archivo General, Mexico, 
Documentos relativos a las misiones de California, Qto. I, Bolton transcripts. 

Indian Population Shifted 251 

missions. The first step was to restore to the fathers manage- 
ment of the temporalities of the missions, and this was done on 
August 13. The report on the population showed 7149 souls in 
the peninsula, the Indian inhabitants being so unevenly distrib- 
uted among the missions that some of these could not support 
their neophytes, while others lacked sufficient laborers for their 
lands. 28 Two of the missions, Dolores and San Luis Gonzaga in 
the south, being judged incapable of improvement, were given 
up, their eight hundred Indians being removed to the mission of 
Todos Santos. The Indians of the latter place were moved to 
Santiago to form the nucleus of an Indian pueblo. San Luis 
Gonzaga was given to a retired soldier, Felipe Romero, that the 
place might be maintained as a way station for the journey from 
south to north through the peninsula ; the condition imposed was 
that Romero and his family should settle there. In the north, 
the populations of Guadalupe and Santa Gertrudis were moved 
to San Jose de Comundu and Purisima Concepcion, where nature 
had been more kindly in furnishing land and water. Galvez 
also wished to move the Indians from Santa Maria in the north 
to San Jose del Cabo, but desisted from this design upon the 
representations of Father Lasuen that his Indians would not be 
willing to go so far from home, nor would they thrive if sent. 
Provision was also made for bringing food and clothing from 
the mainland for the Indians, for one of the anxieties of the 
visitor was that the peninsula might look more prosperous and 
the people more civilized when the scientific expedition under 
Chappe d'Auteroche, coming to observe the transit of Venus, 
should arrive. 29 

28 At the close of the century the number of Indios reducidos was only 
5000 in sixteen mission villages. Santiago and Guadalupe remained with- 
out inhabitants. The number of savage Indians was estimated at scarcely 
4000 (Humboldt, Political Essay, II, 285-6). 

2 9 Palou, Noticias de la Nueva California, I, Chapter xiv, 68; Bancroft, 
North Mexican States, I, 694; Galvez, Decree, Santa Ana, August 21, 1768, 
No. 1, 104-3-2. 

252 Gdlvez in Lower California 

As a further result of his visit to the south, Galvez decided 
that San Lucas should have a colony, it being, from its strategic 
location, the key to the Spanish possessions on the west coast. 
By decree of August 12, lands were offered to colonists, in ex- 
change for suitable returns in improvements and light taxes. 
Of this attempted colonization at Cape San Lucas Viniegra said 
that there were built there in the course of a year only two huts, 
sheltering but nine persons. At the Real de Santa Ana there 
were a few more, and ten or twelve huts at La Paz, inhabited by 
only one man and one woman. 30 A post was established at San 
Bernabe to serve as a relief station for the Manila galleons, while 
that at La Paz was to protect vessels from the mainland which 
might come with supplies for Santa Ana. This latter settlement 
was, next to Loreto, the chief solicitude of Galvez. 

At Santa Ana were located the mines from which it was 
hoped that funds could be obtained for paying the expenses of 
the northern expeditions, as well as the greater part of the ex- 
penses of operating the peninsular government. Here a church 
with a priest was established, a lieutenant-governor for the south- 
ern district of the peninsula was installed, and an attempt was 
made to establish a school where young Indians might be taught 
useful employments. The life of the Santa Ana settlement was 
the mines of the same name ; here houses were bought from Osio, 
and machinery was installed for refining gold. The mines, how- 
ever, proved so unsatisfactory that a number of miners who had 
been brought from Guanajuato to work them had to be sent home, 
there being no employment for them. Other miners from Sinaloa 
were retained for a short time. Viniegra said that no metal was 
refined from these mines at all, and that the bars of silver which 
Galvez sent to Mexico were taken from the missions, having been 
left there by the Jesuits, as were also some pearls which he sent 

so Sobre Galvez en America, 31; cf. Engelhardt, I, 330, citing Bancroft 
and Palou. 

The Monterey Expeditions 253 

to the viceroy under pretense that they had been obtained from 
a state of nature during his stay in California. Whether this 
is true or not, it is true that the mines were so unsuccessful that 
in 1771 they were ordered sold or given away. Osio, the wealthy 
mining operator, rented a part of the royal mines at Tescalama, 
but soon died, leaving his estate impaired by the speculation. 31 

It would be fatuous to burden this narrative with the details 
of the preparations for the expeditions to San Diego and Monte- 
rey. They have been often told by the writers cited above, and 
no merit could ensue from their repetition here. The "San 
Carlos" arrived at La Paz in December, 1768, in unseaworthy 
condition, and was, by heroic effort, prepared and started on her 
voyage on January 9. The "San Antonio" reached Cape San 
Lucas on January 25, and was despatched for the north on Feb- 
ruary 15. Of the land expeditions, the first, under Captain 
Rivera y Moncada, started from the newly established mission 
of San Fernando de Velicata on March 24, while the second, 
under Gaspar de Portola, followed the first on May 21. Galvez 
had meanwhile finished his business on the peninsula, and had 
departed for the Sonora coast on May l. 32 

It only remains to iterate that this occupation of the upper yd 
California ports was the conception of Galvez, and of him prac- 
tically alone. The college of San Fernando, which had charge 
of the California missions, was bitterly opposed to the plan of 
establishing so many new missions as were projected, at such 
remote distances. The original idea was to have three missions 
in upper California, while five were to be placed between Velicata 
and San Diego. Those of upper California were, as is well 
known, increased gradually, whereas the desert country of the 

si Bancroft, North Mexican States, I, 488, and note 46; Humboldt, 
Political Essay, II, 278. 

32 Palou, Noticias, I, chapters viii-xiii; Eelacion Historica, Chapter xiii, 
Bancroft, North Mexican States, I, 491-8; History of California, I, 110- 
125; Kichman, Chapter v, and notes; Engelhardt, I, 330-60; Galvez, 
Informe General, 141-7. 

254 Galvez in Lower California 

peninsula obtained no more. Had the plan been consummated, 
a route from the extremity of the peninsula to San Francisco 
would have been established, the missions occurring at easy inter- 
vals for travel by the existing means. The college of San Fer- 
nando regarded the plan as quixotic, as perhaps it was, with the 
feeble resources which Spain was able to lend to the occupation 
of so vast a territory. The funds available at the beginning 
were all too inadequate, and the struggling missions of the south 
were never as prosperous as the visitor-general expected them 
to become. And yet, with all the poverty, the hardship, and 
r^- imminent failure of the expeditions, the remarkable thing is that 
they were undertaken at all. Only an invincible will like that 
of Galvez could have brought them about. It has long been the 
^ fashion to say that to Fr. Junipero Serra does California owe 
^her settlement by the Spaniards. That Serra was an enthusi- 
astic supporter of the plan of Galvez is not to be questioned, nor 
that he saved the expedition at San Diego when Portola, dis- 
couraged at the sickness and sorry plight of the first expedi- 
tionaries, was ready to attempt to save his party by returning to 
the peninsula in search of food. But Serra had nothing to do 
with the conception of the plan. He was even chosen president 
of the California missions without his own knowledge, and sent 
thither without opportunity of refusal. It was not until Galvez, 
being in the peninsula, acquainted him with the project that he 
entertained it, and his own college would have restrained him 
from entering as heartily as he did into the visitor's plans had 
it felt equal to opposing Galvez. 33 

5. Bases of California government. — The measures of the 
visitor for the habilitation of the peninsula as a governmental 
unit were numerous. Some of them have already been indicated. 
Among others was a bando of October 18, prohibiting commerce 

33 Letters of the Father-guardian, Verger, to Casaf onrta, June 30, 
August 3, 1770, British Museum transcripts, Bancroft Library. 

Establishment of a Capital 255 

in gold and silver which had not paid the royal fifth. Still an- 
other order, of November 2, prohibited commerce with the Manila 
galleon upon its arrival for supplies at the peninsula. For the 
protection of the country, three companies of militia were or- 
ganized, the third being completed by February 16, 1769. These 
militia were cavalry companies of forty men each. In addition 
to these regulations, a number of others were issued by the visitor 
after the despatch of the Monterey expeditions and just prior to 
his departure for Sonora on May 1, 1769. A body of nineteen 
decrees was preserved in the archives at Mexico, some of them 
dating from the fall of 1768, but all of them included in the 
instructions which were given to the second governor of Cali- 
fornia, Matias de Armona, and to the later governors, Neve and 
Barri. These nineteen decrees are important and interesting as 
the first set of laws for the new province ; some of them caused 
a number of serious disputes which impeded the happy develop- 
ment of peninsular prosperity. 

The first decree of the list was dated April 19, 1769. It pro- 
vided for the repopulation of the Real de Loreto as the capital 
of the peninsula, by ordering one hundred families of Indians to 
be settled there. Galvez was determined to improve Loreto be- 
cause it had a fair port for the royal ships, and was well located 
geographically with relation to all parts. The rehabilitation of 
the town and mission was to be accomplished by the governor- 
intendant and the president of the missions. The natives were 
to be brought thither in installments of twenty-five, the first of 
whom were to build houses for themselves and those who were 
to come later. By the second decree, these Indians were to be 
furnished rations of corn for one year, to be charged against 
their community property. The temporalities were to be in 
charge of the acting president, Fr. Francisco Palou. He was 
to see that the rations were distributed to the Indians, and pro- 
vide the governor and commissary-general with vegetables and 

256 Gdlvez in Lower California 

fruits from the mission garden. He was to supply the settlement 
with salt or fresh meat, according to the season, at prices estab- 
lished by regulation, ' ' and to do all tasks of any kind which be- 
longed to the royal service under orders from the governor, to 
whom all vassals of the King . . . are subject, and whom they 
must obey. ' ' 

Decree number three provided for bringing forty orphan boys 
from the other missions to Loreto, to be put under the tutelage 
of Father Palou to learn pearl-fishing and navigation. They 
were to be fed and clothed from public funds until the first 
harvest of the mission crops. 

The fourth decree reiterated and amplified the foregoing pro- 
visions concerning the services of the father-president in bring- 
ing Indians to Loreto. 

Number five is a particular instruction to be observed in the 
re-establishment and public ornamentation of the pueblo and 
primitive mission of Loreto. The instruction is prolix, contain- 
ing fourteen articles. The first Indians to be brought to Loreto 
were to construct forty or fifty houses, each twelve varas (yards 
of thirty-three inches) wide by twenty-five long. The houses 
were to be divided into rooms, and have corrals for animals and 
poultry. The streets were to be sixteen varas wide, and trees 
were to be planted at specified intervals in front of each house. 
The Indian town was to be separated from the Spanish town, and 
each was to have its plaza. The prescribed measurements and 
location of all public buildings were given. These buildings were 
to be placed on the desirable (gulf) side of the town. All houses 
were to be whitened within and on the facades. For their labor 
in constructing the town the Indians were to have rations, but 
no wages. Any of the existing houses which interfered with the 
plan of the new town were to be torn down, and the owners 
compensated by new ones. The houses were to remain the prop- 
erty of the crown, and the occupants were to pay a small rental 

Allotment of Lands 257 

for them. Every Indian who was head of a family was to be 
allotted one suerte of ground two hundred by one hundred varas 
in dimensions, besides his house-lot (solar), and his share of the 
communal lands of the pueblo (ejidos), which latter were to 
consist of from sixteen to twenty suertes, for which the father- 
president was to make formal request of the governor. All 
records of allotments were to be kept in a book called the libro 
de poblacion. Spaniards might have two or more suertes, ac- 
cording to their deserts, but no one was to be allowed to plant 
olive trees or grapevines, lest the viticulture of Spain be injured 
thereby. 34 

The foregoing decrees were issued on April 29, 1769. On 
the next day, April 30, the visitor reserved for the royal service 
a number of animals on the stock farm of San Juan. Twenty- 
four mules, eighteen horses, twelve burros, and six yoke of oxen 
were so reserved. Wagons were to be built on a model to be 
obtained from the southern missions. 

Decree number seven, dated at Cuirimpo, in Sinaloa, May 14, 
set the wages of Indians engaged in ordinary tasks of the royal 
service at six pesos per month. In all extraordinary tasks, such 
as the public works at Loreto, all Indians must be made to work 
at whatever tasks the governor might give them in repartimiento. 

Decree number eight concerned reduction of the price to be 
paid to the missions for figs and raisins. 

By the ninth decree, from La Paz, November 18, 1768, sol- 
diers were to be given no goods from the missions except for cash 
payment, as they now received their pay in coin. 

The tenth regulation included two others, the eleventh and 
twelfth, which had been issued first by Galvez at San Bias. They 
were repeated from La Paz on March 2 and 18. They provided 
minute rules for the charges to be made for passage from the 

s* See above, pp. 27, 28, 34. 

258 Gdlvez in Lower California 

mainland to California in royal vessels, and for the rations to be 
furnished to passengers and crews. 

By the thirteenth decree, dated at Loreto, April 27, 1769, 
Spanish servants in the missions were to be considered as super- 
numerary soldiers with military rights (fueros) ; they might wear 
leather jackets, bear arms, etc. They must live on their wages, 
and need render military service only in case of public danger, 
when they were to be paid as were the provincial militia. 

By the fourteenth and fifteen decrees, Manuel Garcia Morales 
was named as inspector and collector (juez veedor and cobrador) 
of the pearl and salt duties. His duties as inspector of the pearl 
fisheries were not arduous, as few pearls were then being ob- 
tained. 35 The salt was more productive. Garcia had two canoes, 
with crews, to carry all the salt he could obtain to the royal 
warehouses of La Paz and Loreto. Salt from California was 
very fine and white, and Galvez expected it to become an article 
of commerce with the mainland. 

The sixteenth decree, issued from Loreto, April 29, 1769, was 
a regulation for salaries and wages of laborers. By its provisions, 
mine laborers, herdsmen, day laborers, and teamsters were to 
receive eight pesos per month in money and weekly rations of 
one almud [one-eighth of a fanega {quintal)] of corn and one- 
half arroba (twelve and one-half pounds) of meat, dried or fresh. 
Under-shepherds and eighteen-year-old assistants of teamsters 
were to have four pesos and the same rations. Native Indians, 
if not lazy, were to have six pesos and the same rations. Those 
under eighteen years of age were to have three pesos. Foremen 
in mines, on farms, and over herds were to have not less than ten 
pesos, and the same rations. 

35 "During the stay of the visitador Galvez in California, in 1768 and 
1769, a private soldier in the presidio of Loreto, Juan Ocio, was made rich 
in a short time by pearl-fishing on the coast of Cerralvo. Since that 
period the number of pearls of California brought annually to market is 
almost reduced to nothing " (Humboldt, Political Essay, II, 282). 

The Decree of Colonization 259 

No vagabonds were to be allowed in California ; any idle 
persons should be confined a month in jail, and those who har- 
bored them in idleness should be fined twenty pesos. Servants 
in debt to their masters might not leave their employment, nor 
might any employer receive a servant who was indebted to a 
former master. Employers might not advance more than two 
months ' wages to servants, nor might they impede those who were 
out of debt from seeking new employment. 

Wages for mechanical laborers were not fixed, the visitor 
hoping that these could be moderated to conform to the great 
reductions which he had ordered in the cost of provisions. If 
need be, the justices might prescribe the limits of such wages. 

The seventeenth decree, given at Santa Ana, September 24, 
1768, was the well-known decree for new settlers. Under its 
terms the lands conceded to Felipe Romero on August 12, as 
noticed above, were granted. Public lands were to be assigned 
to settlers by commissaries whom Galvez was to appoint for the 
various places where towns were to be established. In each 
settlement the streets were to be fourteen or sixteen varas wide, 
with fruit trees near the doors of the houses. The plots of 
ground assigned were to be of the same size as was specified for 
Loreto. They were to be granted in greater or smaller number, 
according to the merits of the applicants, who were to be retired 
soldiers or other men of good habits. Houses and plots were to 
be held in perpetuity, to descend to sons and daughters who 
married other settlers who had no ground of their own. Parents 
might choose which child was to succeed them, or they might 
apportion their suertes, but these might not be cut into parts, 
being indivisible and inalienable in perpetuity. If an owner at- 
tempted to hypothecate his land he should lose it. 36 

36 This policy was characterized by Guillermo Prieto as "the blunder- 
ing benevolence, if it cannot be called the calculated malevolence . . . 
of the scantily charitable intelligence of the colonial government." The 
lands of the Indians were usually apportioned without great respect for 

260 Gdlvez in Lower California 

All settlers were to have the right to use communal lands and 
water. They might have herds up to fifty head in number, which 
must be kept from running wild. For three years they were to 
be free of all taxes, provided they fenced their land or marked 
it with ditches, and planted trees on the basis of ten to each 
suerte. After three years the tithes were to be paid. One almud 
of corn for every unirrigated suerte, and one cuartilla (twenty- 
five pounds) for every irrigated one, were to be paid as tithes. 
Two brood sows must be added to the livestock each year, as 
hogs were particularly efficacious in destroying the common pests, 
reptiles and locusts. Every settler must be provided with a 
team of oxen, a plow and other tools, five sheep, two mares, five 
hens and a cock. Settlers who would build water-wheels (norias) 
were to be given two additional dry suertes. 

The new settlers were to have the military rights and ex- 
emptions of the provincial militia, provided the head of the 
family kept a horse and owned a fusil and broadsword for use 
against hostile Indians. When on such duty they should belong 
to the companies of militia which were organized. 

Grants of land were to be recorded in a record book, libro de 
poblacion, and if grants were near a mission, in the books of 
that institution as well, that there might be no future conflicts as 
to ownership. 37 

the regulations prescribed and were frequently absorbed by the church 
as a penalty for failure to pay religious dues (Indicaciones sobre el Origen, 
Vicisitudes, y Estado que guar dan actualmente las Bentas Generates de la 
Federacion Mexicana (Mexico, 1850), p. x. 

3" The attempt by Galvez to establish colonies in Lower California 
marked a change in policy for that region. For one hundred and fifty odd 
years after the unsuccessful enterprise of Cortes in 1534, a score or more 
attempts to colonize the peninsula resulted in nothing. Most of these 
schemes had for their aim the acquisition of quick riches from mines and 
pearls. They were defeated more by the asperity of the land than by 
effective hostility of the natives. At last, in 1697, Father Salvatierra 
began a conquest with a corporal's guard at Loreto, which was for a long 
time maintained as a purely spiritual conquest. After 1746 the Jesuits 
relaxed their rules of exclusion of white settlers sufficiently to allow mines 
to be worked and pearls to be sought by the Spaniards from the mainland. 

Real Hacienda in the Peninsula 261 

Decree number eighteen named Pedro Regalado de Soto as 
master (arraez) of the "Sacramento," a canoa engaged in col- 
lecting and transporting salt from the Isla de Carmen to Loreto. 
He was granted twelve pesos monthly salary. 

The nineteenth and last decree of Galvez was a set of instruc- 
tions to the commissary of the southern department of California 
for the management of the public funds and the collection of 
revenues. The crown income of California was to be derived 
from four sources: the sale of dispensations, hitherto unknown 
in California ; the tribute due from natives, new settlers, and 

When the Fernandine Franciscans in 1768 succeeded the expelled Jesuits 
they found that the loudly heralded riches of the peninsula existed only 
in fancy. There were, indeed, no settlers of standing to whom the tem- 
poral affairs of the missions could be intrusted when such a plan was 
contemplated by the viceroy. The decree above presented in abstract 
was intended to remedy this condition. Of this piece of legislation says 
U. Lassepas {De la Colonizacion de la Baja California, Mexico, 1859), 15-16: 
"It is the key to the civil colonization of the peninsula, in contradistinc- 
tion to the monastic colonization established by the license of the viceroy 
to the Jesuits Salvatierra and Kino, on February 6, 1697. By the Galvez 
legislation was offered, gratis and in perpetuity, private ownership of the 
lands, with all the legal rights of transmission, sale, exchange, or hypothe- 
cation [on this point Lassepas was exactly wrong, as is shown above in 
the text] in exchange only for labor, whether such lands should be . . . 
devoted to stock raising, cultivation, or to establishment of towns. For 
this transfer of right of proprietorship ... in acknowledgment of the emi- 
nent domain of the king, was exacted, after three years ' residence, only 
a small tax {canon), paid first in produce and later in coin. 

"But civil colonization was not so easy to accomplish as was thought 
in those days ... it encountered great obstacles. First, immigrants could 
colonize only lands outside mission jurisdiction . . . the fathers' consent 
being . . . indispensable ; the best lands, as a consequence, remained under 
control of the initial colony. . . . Thrown upon their own resources, the 
colonists, generally poor and without knowledge of the country, cherished 
small hopes for the future. The first colonists were soldiers from the 
presidios and seamen from Loreto; the titles granted between 1768 and 
1821 prove that the greater part of the colonists were recruited from 
these two classes." 

There were the following number of conveyances of land made under 
the Galvez legislation up to the time of independence: In 1769, 4; 1770, 
2; 1772, 1; 1781, 3; 1785, 1; 1786, 1; 1793, 2. In these conveyances some 
ninety-five parcels of land were given to about that number of settlers. 
The decree was the legislative basis of colonization until 1830. It is 
printed in Lassepas as Document No. 1, pp. 189-92. See also his pp. 
167-8. Bolton cites original documents concerning these transactions in 
his Guide, p. 350, q. 1. 

262 Gdlvez in Lower California 

transients ; from pearl fisheries ; and from the monopolies of salt, 
tobacco, playing-cards, gunpowder, stamped paper, and mercury. 

The sale of dispensations was to be administered by the com- 
missary in accordance with Galvez' regulation for New Spain 
dated December 12, 1767. 38 In California two parish priests and 
the missionaries of Todos Santos were to distribute the dispensa- 
tions, the commissary receiving his returns from them without 

The annual tribute, including a small land tax (pension), was 
to be collected at twelve reals, with two reals added for the dis- 
pensations. Masters were to deduct the amount of the annual 
tribute from their servants' wages in monthly installments. The 
tithes, when due, were to be collected with the tribute. The 
payment of tribute from Indians of the missions was to be taken 
care of by the fathers who administered the temporalities. 

As Garcia had been named administrator of pearl-fishing, the 
granting of licenses and the collection of the revenue was in his 
hands. The commissary had therefore only to receive from him 
the regular payments of sums accruing from these sources and 
account for them to the subtreasury at Guadalajara. This he 
did also for all revenues not in the hands of special administra- 
tors, such as the several monopolies. The commissary was to 
dispense all salt needed for mining, fishing, meat-drying, and 
for the missions, at fixed prices. Salt was to be sold at six 
arrooas and six pounds (one hundred and fifty-six pounds) for 
exactly three pesos, in order to eliminate the need of small change 
in purchasing salt. To the missions and to the Monterey expe- 
ditions this article was to be sold at two and one-half pesos 
for the same quantity, accounts being sent each half year to 

Tobacco in the leaf, under the monopoly, was to be sold at 
twelve reals per pound ; when the leaf in stock was exhausted 

38 See below, p. 379. 

Conditons Unfavorable 263 

future sales were to be only in the cigarette form, at one real 
per box. Playing-cards were to be sold at twelve reals per pack. 
Powder was to be reduced from two pesos to twelve reals per 
pound, and quicksilver was also reduced, the proceeds of sales 
to be applied to the expenses of the northern expeditions. 39 

By these provisions Galvez expected that the new province 
of California would be established on a paying basis. On De- 
cember 16, 1768, he drew up an estimate (est ado del product o 
prudential) which expressed this belief. Expenses of govern- 
ment created by him amounted to 27,730 pesos annually; from 
the expected revenues there would be received 34,500 pesos, 
which would leave a balance of 7769 pesos. This expectation, 
needless to say, was not realized. 40 

6. California unprosperous. — The hope of the visitor of cre- 
ating and insuring prosperity by reducing the pay of the soldiers 
and the prices at which the missions should supply them with 
provisions provoked trouble from the start, as the new prices 
did not furnish the missions with needed funds to clothe the 
Indians and pay them for their labor. The first twenty-five 
Indians brought to Loreto to build the new town were obliged 
to work for the King without pay, and their families became an 
unprofitable charge upon the mission resources. 

On June 12, 1769, the new governor, Matias de Armona, ar- 
rived at Loreto. He was reluctant to serve in his new position 
when he found that the peninsula was expected to subsist with- 
out the appropriation (situado) of 30,000 pesos which the Jesuits 
had received, with far less expense to meet than that now re- 
quired under the new government. With the hope of inducing 
Galvez to alter his orders so as to provide for the fit maintenance 

39 Instruction que se did a Don Felipe Neve quando se le confirio el govi- 
erno interino de Calif ornias, y carta acompanatoria. Mexico, Archivo General 
j Publico, Provincias internas, 166, 1774, No. 22. 

40 Estado que demuestra el producto prudential de los rumos de real haci- 
enda establecidos por mi en esta peninsula de Calif ornias, 104-3-2. 

264 Galvez in Lower California 

of the government and the missions, Armona sought Galvez in 
Sonora. Leaving California on June 21, the governor was absent 
for nearly a year, when he was obliged to return, having been 
unable to rid himself of his undesirable appointment. 

During that year California was not prosperous. Fevers and 
measles laid low one thousand of the Indian population in several 
of the missions, south and north. Revolt began among the 
neophytes of Todos Santos, who chafed under the restrictions of 
mission life after being transplanted from their native wilds of 
the north. A new commissary, Trillo — a dependent of Galvez — 
arrived from Sonora on October 23, 1769, to govern during Ar- 
mona 's absence. He urged prompt obedience to orders from 
Galvez to set the Loreto Indians to work on the Carmen salt- 
beds without wages. Palou declined to permit this, as when the 
Indians were working at salt production they could produce no 
corn, and it would soon become an unbearable burden to feed 
them corn which would have to be bought from the government 
store. The father-president decided, and his confreres agreed 
with him, to renounce the temporal care of the missions, lest they 
be charged with their ruin. This decision was forwarded to 
Galvez in Sonora early in 1770, but too late to reach him, as he 
had already started on his return to Mexico. Galvez had, how- 
ever, sent word to Palou to present his pleas to him in writing. 
This the father-president did, despatching them to Mexico by 
a returning invalid missionary, Fr. Dionisio Basterra. Armona, 
being at last permitted by Croix to renounce his governorship, 
carried also to Mexico several recommendations, which were con- 
ceded. The commissary was ordered to settle his accounts with 
the missions; Loreto was conceded funds due at the expulsion 
of the Jesuits ; the Indians of Santa Ana, unmarried males sent 
thither to learn mechanical trades, were allowed to return home 
to their own missions, the promised instruction not having been 
given them; Indians from the missions were taken off the boats 




Economic Failure 265 

working between the peninsula and San Bias ; finally, the prices 
of mission goods were to be rearranged. 41 

Father Basterra on July 10, 1770, presented his claims for 
reform to Galvez in Mexico, in a lengthy memorial asking for 
changes of the visitor's regulations on sixteen points. 42 Briefly, 
Basterra 's requests were that the Indians should be paid six 
pesos monthly for public work ; the missions should receive more 
money for their meat sold, as the wages paid to herdsmen caused 
debt which could not be met otherwise. The household utensils 
of Loreto, and the balance due the Jesuits, should be turned over 
to Palou. The commissary should be made to pay for ten jugs 
(tinajas) of brandy, which he had lost and had refused to pay 
for. Accounts should be corrected and balances due the missions 
should be paid for supplies furnished. The missions should be 
allowed to purchase cloth and other supplies in Mexico, and not 
from the Loreto warehouse, so as to effect a saving. Payment 
from the Pious Fund should be continued (10,000 pesos had 
already been received) until the missions could clothe all the 
Indians. Cattle and horses furnished to the government at 
Loreto should not be in excess of the number which bore the 
government brand. Trillo had demanded all the animals. The 
missions should be allowed to sell any surplus produce wherever 
they desired, and not be obliged to turn it all over to the com- 
missary. The produce of the Loreto garden should not be given 
to the governor and the commissary, for these gentlemen had 
demanded it all, provoking friction with the missionaries. ^-Tne 
governor and commissary should not live in the college, where 
the father-president resided and a school was kept, as their offi- 
cial business and the government store interfered with the work 
and the hours of the missionaries. No tribute should be exacted 

4i Palou, Noticias, I, chapters xiv, xv, xvi, xvii; Engelhardt, I, 368-78. 

42 They are recorded with annotations in Palou, Noticias, I, 85-100, and 
are translated in full in Engelhardt, I, 379-385; an abstract of them 
appears in Bancroft, North Mexican States, I, 698-9, note 8. 


266 Gdlvez in Lower California 

from the Indians. Palou had opposed it from the start. The 
commissary had attempted to collect it. The governor and the 
commissary were to be prevented from making personal use of 
the mission boats, which were needed by the Indians. San Jose 
del Cabo and Santiago should be continued as parishes, and not 
given to the friars, lest these be accused of illicit commerce with 
the Manila galleons. 

Needless to say, Galvez did nothing toward granting this 
petition. Many of the requests made would have reversed his 
plan for making the peninsula self-supporting, and would have 
required appropriations of funds, which he was loath to grant, 
however impracticable his plan might be shown to be. It was 
for others to develop the details of the work which he had begun. 
No doubt Galvez was aware by this time that California 
was not a productive country, and that his hopes for revenues 
from it would not be realized except by great saving. 43 His 
hopes were now turned to the success of the northern California 
missions, where the land was more favorable for new establish- 
ments. The one accomplishment of his visit to the peninsula 
./had already been achieved — the permanent occupation of Upper 
California. That, as fate willed, was his one lasting monument 
in the western hemisphere. It is now time to follow him in his 
efforts to subdue the revolted provinces of the mainland, where 
even more conspicuous bad fortune was to be his than the denial 
of prosperity to the missions of the barren peninsula. 

4 3 Croix, writing his final Instruction to his successor Bucarely, was 
fain to confess: "Je trouve que la Calif ornie est moms riche que l'on 
ne croyait, et que l'on doit encourager 1 'agriculture, 1 'exploitation des 
mines et la peche des perles. On doit employer des gens tres honorables 
qui stimulent la paresse habituelle des Indiens. V. E. pourra examiner la 
question et juger des encouragements a leur donner" (Correspondance, 291). 



On preceding pages some indications have been given of 
frontier conditions and of measures projected for the restoration 
of peace on the northern border. These plans included sending 
Colonel Domingo Elizondo at the head of a military expedition 
which, combined with presidial troops and militia of Sonora and 
Sinaloa, placed in the field a force of about 1100 men to oppose v / 
an Indian rebellion which had been intermittently menacing 
those provinces for a score or more years. When military meas- ^f 
ures should have restored peace, settlements were to be made- of 
semi-military colonists, who were to assist the presidial soldiers 
in maintaining order. There were other matters to arrange. 
The Jesuit missionaries, fifty in number, had been expelled, and 
the spiritual interests of their former charges were to be provided 
for, as well as their temporal welfare. The important industry 
of mining, which had fallen into some decay owing to the pro- 
tracted unsettled condition incident to the Indian rebellion, was v 
to be promoted and encouraged. The frontier provinces were 
to be made revenue producing; the tribute, not yet collected 
from the subject population on account of the tacit immunity 1 
of frontier settlements from this species of taxation, was to be 
extended to the farthest limits possible; the four monopolies of 
tobacco, playing-cards, gunpowder, and quicksilver were to be 
established in the frontier provinces. The reorganization of the 
Provincias Internas into a new comandancia general independent 
of the viceroyalty was to be begun, and the initiation of the new 
division of the entire dependency into intendancies was to occur 
in the provinces Galvez now proposed to visit. In the general 
plan was also included the project of reducing the number of 

1 Sanctioned by usage, but not by law. See below, pp. 284-5 and 326. 

268 Galvez in Sonora 

presidios and straightening the alignment of those which were 
to remain. For the government of the new parishes to be erected 
on the foundation of the old Jesuit missions a new bishopric 
was to be erected. As the advance agent of Galvez in the pre- 
liminary steps, Eusebio Ventura Belena was sent north to the 
mining region of Baeubirito, near the villa of Sinaloa, on June 3, 
1768; one of Belena 's chief duties was to make preparations for 
the erection of a subtreasury (caja real) at Alamos, in Sonora, 
to facilitate the handling of the increased crown revenues which 
the visitation of Galvez was to produce. 2 

In short, there was no phase of the frontier problem with 
which Galvez, as visitor, intendant, and lieutenant of the viceroy, 
was not concerned or which he did not attempt to solve. Un- 
fortunately for him and for the province, his success depended 
upon the effectiveness of the military expedition ; this cam- 
paign, in which bodies of troops were pitted against the elusive 
savages of the mountainous country, was foredoomed to failure. 
Partly as a result of this failure, and partly no doubt as a result 
of the exposures of camp life and the burden of his duties, the 
visitor's health and mental competence forsook him, and he was 
for months unable to attend to work. When he had partially 
recovered he was obliged to return to Mexico, leaving practically 
everything yet unfinished. At the capital, many duties con- 
nected with the incomplete visitation occupied the energies of 
Galvez until it became obvious that he should return to Spain, 
where he could, he hoped, entirely recover his health, and from 
a position of vantage near the throne expedite the comprehensive 
plans which he had formulated for the reorganization of the 

1. State of the northwestern frontier. — It would require too 
much space to attempt to describe the conditions in Sonora, 
Sinaloa, and Nueva Vizcaya which led up to the campaign of 

2 Manifesto de la conducta observada por Don Eusebio Bentura Belena, 
arts. 4-6; Acuerda la junta, etc., cited above, p. 239. 

Indian Wars 269 

1768-71. That outline has already been given elsewhere. 3 It 
will not be amiss, however, to place the situation briefly before 
the reader. Sinaloa and Sonora, anteriorly called Nueva 
Andalucia, lay to the northward of the bishopric and "govern- 
ment" of Nueva Galicia. The boundary was the Arroyo or Rio 
de las Canas. The eastern boundary was the Sierra Madre, be- 
yond which lay Nueva Vizcaya, now Durango and Chihuahua. 
In judicial affairs Sonora and Sinaloa, a single province with a 
double name, was subject to the audiencia of Guadalajara; in 
ecclesiastical affairs, to the bishop of Durango. The local units 
of Sonora and Sinaloa were nine alcaldias may ores, Rosario or 
Chametla, Maloias or Plomosas, Copala or San Sebastian, Culia- 
can, Sinaloa, Fuerte, Alamos, Ostimuri, and Sonora, named in 
order from south to north. From the Rio de las Canas to the 
mission of Caborca in the north, the province measured four 
hundred leagues in length, being equal in area to about half of 
France. From the western slopes of the sierra flowed four 
principal streams, along which lived in forty villages the four 
so-called nations of mission Indians known by the names of their 
rivers — the Sinaloa, Fuerte, Mayo, and Hiaqui (Yaqui). 

The disturbances among them began, so far as the last half 
of the eighteenth century is concerned, in 1740, when the Sonora, 
Ostimuri, Alamos, and Fuerte villages revolted against the Span- 
iards. The rebellion was never really put down for many years, 
though the successive governors of the province (erected in 1732) 
made continual efforts, with periods of apparent success, to keep 
the natives in hand. In 1751 and 1752 nine villages of Pimas 
Altos and two villages of Seris revolted, and continued in de- 
fiance of the whites until the period of the Galvez expedition. 
There were also infrequent raids from the Apache country to 
the north and east, but the Apache groups oftenest gave their 
attention to the eastern slope of the sierra, that is, to Nueva 

Bancroft, North Mexican States, I, chapters XX and XXI. 

270 Gdlvez in Sonora 

Vizcaya, along the northern stretches of which Indian warfare 
was almost continuous and far more destructive than in Sonora. 
In the latter province, during the period of the revolt, the only 
Indians who remained at peace with the Spaniards were those 
of the Sinaloa River. On two occasions only, in 1768 and 1769, 
were these drawn into uprisings. In Ostimuri and Sonora dis- 
turbances were frequent. Prior to the general revolt of the 
Pimas and Seris, there had been in Ostimuri alone fifty-seven 
settled haciendas, or ranches. By the end of the war these had 
been reduced to only four in number. In Sonora there were 
twenty-two mines and settlements of Spaniards. Over forty 
mines had been deserted and only two of a prior number of one 
hundred and twenty-five ranches had white inhabitants. 4 

The proximate causes of this condition were difficulties be- 
tween the Jesuit missionaries and the successive governors. The 
white population was wont to instill subtle disrespect for the 
friars into the minds of the Indians, so that the hold of the 
missions upon the natives was not strong. Governor Juan 
Pineda, who was at the head of the province from 1762 to 1769, 
was the first of the governors to receive material aid from the 
central government in putting the province to rights. 

2. Elizondo' s campaign. — While Galvez was in California the 
war against the revolted Seris, Pimas, and Sibubapas was being 
carried on by Pineda and Elizondo with that lack of success 
which had been predicted for it by the opponents of Galvez. 
Elizondo arrived at Guaymas, as has already been noted, on 
March 10, 1768. With his detachment of one hundred and eighty 
men he attacked the rebels near Guaymas, at the Monte Tenuage, 
but the enemy fled to their mountain fastnesses in the Cerro 
Prieto, where the Spanish troops were obliged to leave them, 
after ten days 7 bootless efforts, there being no pasture nor water. 

*Belena, Manifesto de la conducta (104-3-3), arts. 144-46; Description 
geogrdfica, natural y curiosa de la Provincia de Sonora . . . ano de 1764 ; in 
Bocumentos para la Historia de Mexico (Tercera serie, Mexico, 1856), 609. 

Failure of Movements in Force 271 

A few Indian women were captured ; they told Elizondo that 
the Indians had held a convocation upon the approach of the 
troops, in which they had agreed to defend themselves as long 
as possible in the Cerro Prieto, whence they would retire, if need 
be, to the island of Tiburon, just off the Sonora coast. During 
the latter part of June, 5 the remaining troops of the expedition 
by sea having arrived, the Spaniards advanced upon the Cerro 
Prieto in three detachments — Elizondo from Guaymas, Captain 
Bernardo Urrea from Pitic, and Captain Lorenzo Cancio from 
Buenavista. The Indians eluded them all, suffering the loss of 
one of their number only. The troops did not move again in 
force until autumn. In October movements converging upon the 
Cerro Prieto from Pitic and Guaymas were again undertaken, 
the only tangible result being the loss of three soldiers, who were 
caught and hung by the Indians. Similar reprisals in exposed 
localities were constant throughout 1768, the offenders being 
Seris and Pimas. Disturbances extended throughout practically 
the entire province. About seventy-five persons were killed by 
the Indians during the year. 6 

These movements in force against foes who could never be 
overtaken were not approved by the King. He had never been 
sanguine of success for the frontier plans of Galvez, and he sent 
orders to the viceroy on November 17, 1768, to have the formal 
campaign stopped, as such movements were not only futile but 
very expensive. The proper method would be, thought his 
Majesty, to send captured Indian women with messages of peace 
and gifts to those who were in revolt, it being easier to effect 
results by this method than by force of arms. In December the 
King reiterated his desire for the cessation of formal campaigns, 
for the same reasons. But the viceroy, whatever his personal 
opinions, allowed the methods which were being pursued to con- 

s Correspondance, 214. 

6 Bancroft, North Mexican States, I, 663, note. 

272 Gdlvez in Sonora 

tinue, it seemingly being his idea that Galvez, actually on the 
frontier, though not yet in Sonora, was best situated to judge 
what methods to pursue. In November a movement of over five 
hundred troops from Pitic and Guaymas was again directed 
toward the Cerro Prieto, with no result except excessive fatigue 
to the Spanish forces. On December 25 the Indians committed 
murders within sight of the presidio of Terrenate, escaping pur- 
suit unscathed. On January 21 a force of three hundred men 
began a movement toward the northern part of the province, 
but met with no enemy whatever. On February 25 another 
attack was made on the Cerro Prieto, whither the Indians kept 
returning in flight from troops in the opener country. 

While these attempts to come to decisive action with the 
Indians had been going on, Galvez from California had been 
making proposals to the Indians, on the advice of the officers in 
the field, looking to a general amnesty and surrender. On the 
last expedition to the Cerro Prieto, Elizondo learned from a 
woman prisoner that the Indians were awaiting only the coming 
of Galvez to take advantage of the proffered peace. 7 

3. Gdlvez as general in the field. — The visitor had set out 
from California, as has been previously stated, on May 1, 1769, 
and arrived at the bay of Santa Barbara (the mouth of the Rio 
Mayo, opposite Loreto) on May 7. 8 Here he remained three 
days, despatching the soon-to-be-lost ' ' San Joseph, ' ' in which he 

7 Extracto de documentos referentes a la expedicion de Sonora, 104-3-2. 
This manuscript, now used for the first time, gives in brief form the 
details of importance in this campaign up to 1770, with some notice of the 
later stages of the war. It is made up of extracts of the reports of the 
viceroy to the King, based on the letters of the officers in the field. This 
material is supplementary to the official correspondence contained in the 
Documentos para la Historia de Mexico, Cuarta serie, Tom. II (Mexico, 

s ' ' M. de Galvez, apres avoir organize son expedition de Monterey et 
tout mis en regie en Californie, vient de partir pour la Sonora afin de la 
pacifier; j 'espere qu'il y reussera et que le Seigneur lui accordera cette 
gloire en recompense des fatigues inoui'es que ce ministre s'est imposees 
pour le service de son Eoi et de son pays" (Croix, letter, Mexico, June 20, 
1769, Correspondance, 218). 

Milder Methods Attempted 273 

had arrived, to Monterey with supplies for the new colony there. 
At Santa Barbara Galvez wrote to his friend Miguel de Muzquiz, 
minister of hacienda at the court in Madrid, of his arrival and 
of the pleasure he took in the work which Beleiia had done in 
anticipation of his coming. He also wrote to Croix, to Loren- 
zana, archbishop of Mexico, and to the bishop of Puebla, that he 
intended to make Belena intendant of Sonora and Sinaloa ; these 
provinces, he said, were experiencing a bonanza in the mines, 
and it was highly probable that the revenues, under his new 
providences, would take gigantic leaps upward. 9 

Now actually on Sonora soil, Galvez plunged with his fanat- 
ical vigor into all phases of his frontier labors. The campaign 
against the rebellious Indians engaged his attention at once. 
At the beginning of the operations Galvez had been of a mind 
to wage a war of practical extermination against the insurgents. 

The junta that planned the campaign [he declared] held as an invio- 
lable principle, to which the whole civilized world subscribes, that sedi- 
tionaries and rebels like these ought never to be allowed to capitulate. 
It was therefore resolved that only in case they should surrender at 
discretion should their lives be spared, but that they should never be 
allowed to remain in the province, or even on the continent, that once 
and for all the fomentation of such ills might be extinguished, and an 
example be made which would restrain the other Indians. This, I believe, 
is the import of the instruction which . . . the viceroy gave for that war. 
. . . You will continue it with the utmost vigor, not listening to pro- 
posals for peace, lest the Indians assume that they are the objects of 
unmerited pity. 10 

3. Amnesty offered. — This uncompromising attitude had be- 
come modified during the interval between February and May. 
The desire of the King, the fact that the campaign was not suc- 
ceeding, and the advice of the officers in the field prompted the 
visitor to issue, as soon as he landed in Sonora, an edict of gen- 

9 Copies of these letters appear in Belena 's Manifesto, arts. 7-9. 
io Galvez to Pineda, Cabo de San Lucas, February 16, 1769, in Docu- 
mentos para la Historia de Mexico, Cuarta serie, II, 30. 

274 Gdlvez in Sonora 

eral amnesty to all Indians who would surrender at discretion. 11 
The edict was sent on May 8 to all towns and missions of Sonora 
and Sinaloa, and to all commanders of troops, ordering suspen- 
sion of hostilities for the space of forty days, within which the 
Indians were to surrender, or experience the utmost rigor of 
the Spanish arms at the close of the period. The Indians had 
been expecting this move, from word sent from California by 
Galvez in advance of his coming, and they now began to make 
some slight moves toward surrendering. The Seris deserted the 
Pimas, and asked to be allowed to ally themselves with the 
Spanish forces at Pitic. 12 By June 16 twelve families of Seris 
had come in and had been quartered at Pitic. 

The movement did not become general, as most of the Indians 
gathered the idea that they would be hung or carried out to 
some island and deserted if they surrendered, for they had the 
terms of the original decree against them confused with the 
words of the amnesty proclamation. No doubt some of the inde- 
pendent souls among the rebels tried to prevent the surrender 
of those who at first seemed willing to give up. At the sugges- 
tion of Pineda and Elizondo, Galvez issued "passports," or 
rather letters of safe conduct, to the Indians, in hope that these 
would facilitate surrenders. To Pineda he wrote : 

And if they do not submit with faithful and repentant hearts, I my- 
self will command them to return to liberty in their mountains, and let 
them see if they can find a place within the womb of earth wherein to 
hide themselves from the immense power of God and the King, who will 
convert them into ashes; but if they change their rebellion to loyalty, and 
desire to be as good vassals as they have been bad, I will do them justice 
beyond what they have hoped; you will see that they understand this, 
that they may know that their weal or woe depends upon their own 

n Belefia, Manifesto, art. 10. 

12 Extracto de documentos referentes a la expedicion de Sonora, 104-3-2. 
is Galvez to Pineda, Alamos, May 23, 1769, in Documentos para la 
Historia de Mexico, Cuarta serie, II, 37. 

The Char ay Revolt 275 

This pompous declaration had not the desired effect, and it 
was necessary for Galvez to extend the original term of forty 
days, ten days 14 being added at the supposed intervention of a 
parish priest ; the excuse for so doing was that the added time 
was supposedly needed for certain remote Indians to reach the 
point where they should surrender. In the meantime an unfore- 
seen uprising among the Rio Fuerte Indians of the village of 
Charay made it necessary to extend the time for another twenty- 
five days. This uprising was due to the action of the Indian 
governor of Charay, who, acting under superior orders, prob- 
ably from Galvez, attempted to burn the weapons of his subordi- 
nates. Galvez sent Beleiia from Alamos to quell the revolt, as 
no military officers were available for the sudden demand. 
Belena tried to decline the task, but Galvez insisted, stating that 
if Belena would not go, he would do so himself, ill though he 
was. Indeed, Galvez was from the first of June beginning to 
suffer from fever and chills, and he was not wholly well again 
until after he left the frontier. 

Belena went to Charay, and was occupied with quelling the 
revolt and investigating its causes for two weeks, when he was 
unexpectedly superseded by Matias de Armona, who had just 
arrived from California to seek instructions for his governor- 
ship there from Galvez. The latter was dissatisfied with Belena 's 
management of the Charay revolt, and asserted that the contin- 
uance of disorder in Sonora was due to him. In what matters 
the subdelegate erred is uncertain. Belena made a long defense 
of his conduct, but did not include the diary of his two weeks 
at Charay in it, and the subsequent correspondence refers 
vaguely to the exact cause of the dissatisfaction. As soon as 
Belena returned to Alamos, Galvez confined him fifty-four days 
in his own ( Belena 's) quarters, without offering any explanation 
or bringing any accusation. From that day on there was no 

14 Belena 's Manifesto says twenty days (art. 10). 

276 Galvez in Sonora 

more talk of Belefia for intendant of Sonora and Sinaloa, for 
though his title to the office was issued by the viceroy and ap- 
proved by the King, it never reached him, and it was Pedro de 
Corbalan who was named. Belefia was told that he would be 
wanted for preliminary work in Nueva Vizcaya, whither he 
would be expected to precede Galvez, just as he had previously 
done in the western provinces. 

The revolt of the Charay Indians was punished with great 
rigor. Galvez sentenced twenty of the insurgents to be beheaded, 
and their heads exposed on pikes at the entrance to the village. 
Their goods were confiscated, their homes destroyed, and the 
sites strewn with salt. Seventeen other unfortunates received 
two hundred lashes, and the revolted villagers were condemned 
to be deprived of their weapons, although these were of service 
in gaining a livelihood. 15 

Viniegra says that these Indians had been previously prom- 
ised immunity if they would lay down their arms and retire to 
their homes; this they did, but they were promptly seized in 
their homes after having done so. 16 The same writer agrees with 
Belefia in saying that the illness of Galvez which occurred at 
this time was due to melancholy because of the ill success of the 
attempt to induce the rebellious Indians of the province to sur- 
render. By the end of August, 1769, the visitor wrote from 
Alamos to Pineda and Elizondo at Pitic that he was coming to 
consult with them concerning plans for another general attack 
upon the Cerro Prieto with four or more divisions of troops, as 
the period of amnesty had expired without appreciable success. 17 

During the early part of October the plans were arranged, 
and the attack occurred late in the month, with the same unsat- 

i3 Decree of Galvez to Armona, August 10, 1769, in Belefia, Manifesto, 
arts. 28-35. 

16 Viniegra, Sobre Galvez en America, Apunte instructibo, 35, A. H. N., 
Estado, Leg. 2845. 

17 Galvez to Pineda and Elizondo, Alamos, August 31, 1769, in Vocu- 
mentos para la Historia de Mexico, Cuarta serie, II, 69. 

Formal Warfare Abandoned 277 

isfactory results as hitherto had been realized. At the same time 
the Apache in Nueva Vizcaya were terrorizing that province 
almost unchecked, wherefore Galvez urged the governors of Coa- 
huila and New Mexico to assist Nueva Vizcaya by attacking the 
Apache on their respective borders. 

When the King was apprised of this course of affairs he 
reiterated his lack of confidence in the general attacks, and again 
ordered that they should cease. The expense of operations so 
far had been very high. Since the beginning of the campaign 
in 1767, there had been expended the 189,000 pesos first collected 
by Galvez, while over 350,000 pesos had been borrowed from the 
tobacco revenue, for use in California and Sonora. In spite of 
this expenditure, frontier conditions had grown steadily worse, 
even the Indians of the Rio Gila having joined the rebels. The 
entire frontier was aflame with revolt, making plain the folly of 
trying to protect all parts of it with small forces while trying 
to carry on a definite campaign in one part only. The Indians, 
thought the King, must be placated by kind treatment and gifts, 
since they could not be conquered in the field. The plan for the 
frontier presidios, recommended by the mariscal de campo Rubi, 
should be followed. General attacks should be definitely given 
up. The viceroy was ordered to convoke a junta, to be com- 
posed of the visitor-general and military experts, who should take 
up the details of the Rubi plan and put them into operation. 18 

Almost six months previous to the issuance of this order the 
officers conducting the military operations had agreed that the 
general attacks were useless. Galvez, seriously ill, was replaced, 
at Croix's orders, by Pineda and Elizondo as commanders of the 
operations. 19 From November of 1769 to the fall of 1770 the 
mode of attack upon the Indians was by pequena guerra, that is, 
guerilla warfare, in which the savages were kept in constant 

is Beal Orden, April 25, 1770; Extracto de documentos referentes a la 
expedition de Sonora, 104-3-2. 

19 Croix to Arriaga, Mexico, December 31, 1769, 104-3-2. 

278 Gdlvez in Sonora 

motion by small detachments of troops, so that they had no time 
to search for food, and were not allowed to obtain sufficient rest. 
By gifts and cajolery, too, the Indians were induced to lay down 
their arms in successive small groups. By May of 1771 all had 
submitted and had been settled in small towns, the original plan 
to expatriate them having been abandoned on Pineda's advice. 
In the fall of 1771 Elizondo returned with most of his troops to 
Mexico, leaving the one hundred fusiliers to aid the presidial 
guards in maintaining peace. 20 

4. The visitor insane. — During the latter part of August, 
1769, Galvez was obliged by illness to moderate his activities. 
His recovery from his first attack was of short duration. On 
August 22 he wrote from Alamos to Croix that he expected this 
illness to be his last. He commended his dependents to the care 
of the viceroy, reiterated his strong affection for that gentleman, 
and commended to his especial consideration the proper care of 
the new settlements of northern California. Recovering some- 
what by the 29th of August, he was then able to write to the 
viceroy that he had emerged from the shadow of death, God 
having desired to prolong his days. 21 

He set out from Alamos on September 4, to go to Pitic, where 
he was to confer with Pineda and Elizondo concerning the revolt 
and a new movement to end it. He did not reach Pitic until 
about October l, 22 having occupied twenty-eight days in travers- 
ing a distance of one hundred leagues. Ten days of this time 
he had been ill at the presidio of San Carlos Buenavista, where 
he confessed and disposed of his affairs, and he was still sick 

20 Croix, Instruction que dejo, 88-5-13. The fusiliers were soon re- 
moved, being deemed unnecessary, but renewed war almost immediately 
followed their removal (Rivera Cambas, Los Gobernantes de Mexico, I, 
425-6). "The extravagant military expedition of Don Joseph Galvez did 
not serve to establish in a permanent manner the northern limits of the 
intendancy of Sonora" (Humboldt, Political Essay, II, 253). 

2i Galvez to Croix, Alamos, August 22 and 29, 104-3-3. 

22 Belena, Manifesto, art. 46, says September 29; Viniegra, 38, says 
October 1. 

Megalomania 279 

when he began his conferences with the army officers. On 
October 13 he was obliged to desist from work in the midst of 
sending despatches to Mexico. During the following night his 
mind gave way. Calling suddenly to Armona at 2 o'clock in 
the morning, he loudly declared that he had just received a 
communication from St. Francis of Assisi, telling him how incom- 
petent were the officers of the expedition. He himself, said 
Galvez, would soon end the insurrection by bringing six hundred 
apes from Guatemala, which he would put into uniforms and 
send against the fastnesses of the Cerro Prieto. During the next 
day the visitor gave signs of further mental disorder. He went 
to the soldiers 7 barracks and shook hands with many of the 
enlisted men, promising them all the money they wanted from 
the treasury, and threatening the officers with death if they 
interfered with his orders. 

The secretaries of Galvez, desiring to conceal from prying eyes 
the unhappy state of their superior, confined him, at Pineda's 
suggestion, to his room. The surgeon of the expedition, Gui- 
llermo Cis, bled him thrice, without beneficial result. On October 
25 he was removed from Pitic to the mission of Ures, where it 
was hoped that his recovery would be facilitated by absence 
from military scenes and commotion. There, for over forty days, 
he was almost constantly ill and out of his mind. On November 
6 Elizondo wrote to Croix from Ures, informing the viceroy of 
the low state of Galvez' health, and recommending that he leave 
Sonora for the sake of it. On December 3 Croix wrote to 
Galvez, ' ' ordering and supplicating him ' ' to return to Mexico as 
soon as possible. About the 8th of the same month the visitor 
began to show signs of recovery. 23 

On November 29 plans were made by Viniegra, Azanza, 
Armona, Arguello, and Bernardo Galvez (the latter had come 

23 Viniegra, Apunte instructibo, 38-41, A. H. N., Estado, Leg. 2845; 
Croix to Galvez, Mexico, December 3, 1769, 104-3-2; Belena, Manifesto, 
arts. 53-54. 

280 Gdlvez in Sonora 

from Nueva Vizcaya to be present with his uncle in his illness) 
to take the latter southward to Mexico by way of the western 
coast. The necessary conveyances were arranged for and quar- 
ters engaged for stopping at some of the towns on the route, but 
with his recovery of health during December Galvez decided 
that he would return by way of Chihuahua, perhaps because his 
original intention had been to visit Nueva Vizcaya. 

It was necessary for him to wait for a time to recuperate, 
in order that he might be fit to withstand the fatigues of the 
road. The country during December and January was exceed- 
ingly cold and wet, and hence the departure was delayed until 
the beginning of February, it being expected that Mexico would 
be reached in April. 24 

The return journey was undertaken on February 3, but on 
the third day Galvez was again taken seriously ill, and was 
obliged to remain at Arispe until the end of March. During 
this time his insanity was more pronounced than before, taking 
the form of megalomania, in which he called himself the king of 
Prussia, the king of Sweden, protector of the house of Bourbon, 
the venerable Palafox, "and even the Eternal Father/' He 
wrote a great number of papers, to one of them signing : ' ' Joseph 
de Galvez, insane for this world ; pray for him, that he may be 
happy in the next." 

On passing through the mission of Cuquiarachi, Galvez sank 
to such a low condition that the surgeon, Cis, selected for him a 
place of sepulture in the churchyard. By March 30 the party 
had reached Chihuahua, having been met on the way by Fr. 
Joaquin de la Trinidad, a Bethlehemite whom the viceroy sent 
out from Mexico to serve as physician to the visitor. This friar, 
says Viniegra, recognized at once the mental disorder of Galvez, 
and declined through fear of violence to sleep in his room, but 

Valera to Belena, Mexico, February 24, 1770, in Manifiesto, art. 106. 

The Return to Mexico 281 

later said that Galvez was far more sane than his secretaries, and 
wrote to the viceroy to that effect. 25 

From Chihuahua Galvez made his way to Mexico in carriages ; 
Beleria remained at Alamos, Viniegra was detained at Chihuahua 
by illness, and we have no more details of the remainder of the 
visitor's journey, save that he was at the Hacienda Santa Cata- 
rina on April 15, well and sound, according to his own statement. 
He reached Mexico late in May or early in June. 26 

In May Viniegra, returning to Mexico, was suddenly arrested 
and thrown into prison, where he was detained with Azanza and 
Argliello in solitary confinement without any assigned cause. 
While they were in jail at Tepozotlan Juan Antonio Valera came 
to them, asking them to retract statements they had made in 
letters to the viceroy and to their friends characterizing the 
illness of Galvez as "civil death, or loss of his reason." They 
refused to retract, and were left in prison until November, when 
they were taken to Vera Cruz to be returned to Spain at the 
viceroy's orders. Argiiello and Viniegra reached Vigo, Spain, 
on April 26, 1771. Azanza was left at Havana. Thirty years 
later he made his entry as viceroy of New Spain in the very 
town of Tepozotlan, where he had languished in prison. 27 Vini- 
egra, reduced to extreme poverty and without employment, peti- 
tioned the king for reinstatement in the royal service. He 
enlisted the sympathy of the archbishop of Toledo, Lorenzana, 
who had been archbishop of Mexico during the time of Galvez' 
visitation. Lorenzana made a confidential report to Arriaga 
concerning the motives which had caused the discharge and 
imprisonment of the dependents of Galvez. As a result of the 
intervention of Lorenzana, Viniegra was, after two years' plead- 

25 Viniegra, Apunte instructibo, 42, 44; Beleria, Manifiesto, arts. 107, 123. 
2G Galvez to Trigo, Santa Catarina, April 15, 17 70; in Beleria, Mani- 
fiesto, art. 203. Croix to Arriaga, Mexico, June 3, 1770, 88-5-21. 
27 Cf. Humboldt, Political Essay, II, 278-9. 

282 Gdlvez in Sonora 

ings, appointed in March, 1773, as a treasury official at Porto 
Bello in the viceroyalty of Peru. In the following June Galvez, 
after repeated requests, gave him a letter of recommendation, 
stating that he and Arguello were worthy to be restored to gov- 
ernment position. Thus tardily was justice to this man meted 
out. Of the later fortunes of Arguello we have now no record. 28 

The account by Viniegra of the insanity of Galvez is the story 
of an eye-witness. While it is a rancorous document, it is worthy 
of credence, as it is borne out in essential respects by the story 
of Belena, which is the dignified representation of a well edu- 
cated man who had occupied positions of responsibility and who 
had done much valuable public service. Belena 's fortunes were 
very similar to those of Viniegra ; he was thoroughly convinced 
that the visitor's mistreatment of him was due largely to the 
fact that he had written to the viceroy stating that Galvez had 
lost his reason during his illness in Sonora. If there ever was 
any doubt that the statement was true, the documents used in 
the preceding narrative (which have not been quoted in some 
unpleasant details) definitively set the doubt at rest. It is to 
be borne in mind also that these men who were punished by 
Galvez for having made the statement were later restored to 
favor by the efforts of others. Buearely, Arriaga, Landazuri, 
and Lorenzana all interested themselves in one or another of 
those who had felt the bitterness of Galvez' condemnation. 

Undoubtedly the visitor was unduly harsh in his efforts to 
repress the obvious fact regarding his illness. The Sonora cam- 
paign was a severe trial to the strength of many of its official 
members. Before it was over Pineda, Belena, and Galvez all 
suffered from discomforting maladies. Lorenzo Cancio, one of 
the captains, died before he could leave the country. It was not 
surprising that Galvez should contract fever from the exposures 

28 Viniegra, Apunte instructibo, passim; Galvez to Arriaga, Madrid, 
June 23, 1773, 88-5-21. 

The Mining Interests 283 

of camp life, nor that he should be unbalanced mentally during 
high fevers. Unfortunately, after the fevers left him his mental 
equilibrium was not speedily restored. But when he did recover, 
the fact that he retained the confidence and friendship of the 
viceroy and the favor of the King might have made him more 
magnanimous toward inferiors who had done him no intentional 
harm, and who were loyal to him. If, of course, it had been 
established that he was permanently insane, his visitation would 
perforce have been concluded, he would have lost all civic status, 
and his enemies, of whom there were many, would have tri- 
umphed completely. 

5. Frontier reorganization. — The unexpected prolongation of 
the Indian war, and the illness of Galvez, had unfortunate effects 
upon the broad plans of reorganization with which he set out 
for the frontier in 1768. Those plans have been indicated above 
in the account of the junta which sent him to the northern prov- 
inces; 29 it remains to notice some of the measures taken for 
working them out. 

During the month of May, 1769, immediately following his 
arrival at Alamos, Galvez held two conferences with the provin- 
cial representatives of the mining and commercial interests, to 
decide upon measures for promoting the welfare of the province. 
The miners were urged, indeed Galvez said they themselves pro- 
posed, that the wages of mine-workers should be increased. A 
ban-do was therefore issued ordering this done. The price of 
quicksilver was reduced, in accordance with royal orders ; reduc- 
tions were also made in the cost of powder and salt, two materials 
essential to the miners. In order to encourage small miners, it 
was provided that quicksilver should be sold to them at retail 
from the government stores, so that the large operators might 
not continue to hold the complete monopoly of this prime neces- 
sity which they had formerly enjoyed. The mine owners, in the 

29 See pp. 234-38. 

284 Gdlvez in Sonora 

May conferences, also expressed a desire to have an intendancy 
erected in the province, and to have provincial militia organized. 
It is obvious that the miners, who were for the most part Creoles, 
were more than willing to take suggestions from Galvez, for the 
proposals which he represents them as making to him are simply 
the plans which he proposed to carry out when he undertook his 
northern commission. 30 

Even more remarkable acquiescence in the plans of the visitor 
was manifested by the Indians of the river settlements. These 
semi-civilized people, living along the rivers Sinaloa, Mayo, 
Yaqui, and Fuerte, presented petitions (which Viniegra says 
were circulated among them by agents of Galvez) requesting the 
King to erect their missions into parishes, grant them lands in 
communal and several ownership, and collect from them tribute. 31 
Decrees were issued by Galvez pursuant to the terms of these 
so-called petitions, but the matter of collecting tributes on the 
frontier was not to be settled thus offhand. Although, at the 
time of which the present account takes notice, the tribute was 
collected in all of Nueva Galicia, it was not and never had been 
collected in the neighboring alcaldia mayor' of Sinaloa (Rosario), 
nor in the successive alcaldias of Maloia and Copala ; but in the 
more northern alcaldia of Culiacan it had been collected from 
time immemorial 32 from Indians in towns, but not from nomadic 
tribes (vagos), nor from negroes or half-castes. In Sonora no 
collections had ever been made at all, notwithstanding that over 
one hundred years had elapsed since the conquest of that terri- 

30 Testimonio a letra de lo acordado en la junta . . . de los cuerpos de 
mineria y comercio . . . de . . . Sinaloa y Sonora, 104-3-2. 

31 Testimonio de memorial presentado por los Indios de la nacion Hiaqui; 
Idem de la del Eio de Sinaloa, de la del Bio Mayo, y de la del Rio Fuerte; 
Galvez to Croix, Alamos, June 10, 1769, 104-3-2; Belefia, Manifiesto, arts. 
12-15, quotes this letter in full; Galvez expected the 40,000 odd Indians 
of these settlements, and the mixed-breed population of the mines, to be 
paying 100,000 pesos in tribute by the end of the current year. 

32 Belefia, Manifiesto, art. 147. 

Missions Secularized 285 

tory, during which time the Jesuits had collected ecclesiastical 
dues from Spaniards and half-castes, but not from Indians. 33 

Notwithstanding that Belena rendered a prolix report to the 
viceroy, recommending that the tribute should be collected in 
accordance with the wishes of Galvez, almost all the other Spanish 
officials who were acquainted with frontier conditions thought 
adversely of the plan. Pineda was particularly fearful that a 
levy of this tax would inevitably provoke the Indians to hostility. 
Bucarely, successor to Croix, was of the same opinion. As late 
as 1803 there were only 251 tributaries in Sinaloa, and none 
farther north. 34 

The arrangement of the affairs of the missions from which 
the Jesuits had been expelled was also begun by Galvez immedi- 
ately upon his arrival in Sonora. Here, as elsewhere, the mission 
property was confiscated, it being considered that the Jesuits, 
and not the Indians, had actually owned it. Captain Lorenzo 
Cancio, who had managed the expulsion, placed soldier-commis- 
saries in charge of the property, as was done in California. On 
September 3, 1769, Galvez ordered Beleila, with a staff of two 
assistants, to examine and close the accounts of these commis- 
saries, who were placed in charge only temporarily. 35 On Octo- 
ber 20 Belena had complied with the order. The commissaries 
were not able to present very favorable or very intelligible ac- 
counts of their stewardships; their reports were muddled and 
incomplete, but from them was gained some idea of the property 
left by the Jesuits. Twenty-one accounts were rendered, and 
fourteen suits (demandas) were entered against as many of the 
missions, 36 but of the nature of these suits Belena gives us no 

33 Belena, Manifiesto, art. 160. 

34 Humboldt, Tobias Geogrdfico-Politicas del Eeifio de la Nueva-Espana, 
in Boletin de Geografia y Estadistica, Segunda epoca, I, 639. 

35 Belena, Manifiesto, art. 45, gives a copy of Galvez ' decree. Cf . Ban- 
croft, North Mexican States, I, 670. 

so Manifiesto, arts. 45, 95, 215. 

286 Gdlvez in Sonora 

There had been fifty missions; of these it was planned to 
secularize half, that is, those of Sinaloa and Ostimuri as far north 
as the Rio Hiaqui. Over these establishments were to be put 
priests subject to the bishop of Durango. The more northern 
missions were to be put in charge of the Queretaran and Jaliscan 
Franciscans. Affairs spiritual remained for a long time unsatis- 
factory. Where the secular clergy assumed control they were 
obliged to work without funds, as no provisions were made for 
caring for and feeding the Indians, who were ill-prepared for 
the responsibility of life outside mission shelters. In the Quere- 
taran and Jaliscan missions affairs were similarly unprosperous. 
The long years of conflict between officials of the state and those 
of the orders had made Sonora a difficult province to restore to 
peace and prosperity, in spite of mining rushes which increased 
the population and the revenues. 37 

Amid other activities, proclamation for the establishment of 
new colonies on the frontier was not forgotten. A preliminary 
decree was issued from Alamos on June 23, 1769, just before the 
beginning of the visitor's illness. By this decree the commis- 
sioners of Galvez were to go to places of settlements, and, in the 
presence of the parish priest, the "captain-general" and the 
governor of each group of Indians, divide the lands. The first 
land to be set apart in each settlement was for the town site; 
next, four leagues of communal land. Pasture lands were then 
to be provided, and the priest was to have five suertes adjoining 
the communal lands. The Indians were to have one suerte for 
each head of family, two for the governor, and three for the 
1 ' captain-general. ' ' Titles to the land were to be given and pre- 
served in the new subtreasury at Alamos. No land might be 
alienated subsequently, but if any were left untilled two years 

37 For an account of the Queretaran missions after the expulsion of the 
Jesuits see Fr. Francisco A. Reyes, Noticia del estado de las misiones . . . 
de Sonora . . . [que] administran los padres . . . de Queretaro, in Docu- 
mentos para la Historia de Mexico, Tercera serie, Tom. 4, 724-65, Mexico, 
July 6, 1772. See also Bancroft, North Mexican States, I, 670-76. 

Fiscal Affairs 287 

it should revert to the crown. Royal lands outside the needs of 
the Indians might be leased in perpetuity to Spaniards or unob- 
jectionable half-castes, at two pesos per annum for each suerte. 
When the lands should have been assigned the commissaries were 
to make lists of the tributaries; this tax was to be fifteen reals 
for Indians who were married, half that amount for single men, 
twenty reals for negroes and mulattoes married, ten reals for 
single men. Indian caciques, governors, etc., were to be free from 
tribute. The regulation is less prolix than the one provided for 
California, but in principle it contains the same provisions. ' 8 
A second decree of January 25, 1771, was issued by Croix, pro- 
viding for details for the operation of the earlier decree of 

In affairs directly pertaining to the revenues, the subdelegate 
Belena, preceding Galvez to the province by a year, and re- 
maining some months after the departure of the latter, took 
the preliminary steps. The tobacco, gunpowder, playing-card, 
and quicksilver monopolies were organized, but owing to the 
illness of Galvez, which occurred just when many of the final 
decrees were ready to be signed, the actual establishment of the 
revenues on the frontier was left to Pedro Corbalan, who in 1770 
assumed the office of intendant, to which Belena had been ap- 
pointed. 39 

In June of the same year the subtreasury (caja real) of 
Alamos was established. The preparation for this establishment 
was one of the chief labors of Belena in Sonora. The creation 
of a new financial center obviated sending the precious metals 
of Sonora to Durango or to Guadalajara to pay duty, and in so 
doing served as a real convenience to the province. 

38 Instrucciones que deben observar mis comisionados para la asignacion 
y repartimiento de tierras en los pueblos de Indios de estas provincias y los 
de Espanoles que hubiere en el distrito de sus comisiones, Joseph de Galvez, 
Alamos, June 23, 1769, in Documentos para la Historia de Mexico, Tereera 
serie, Tom. IV, 708-12; Segunda instruction, ibid., 713-17. 

39 Belena, Manifesto, arts. Ill, 112, 198, 236. 

288 Gdlvez in Sonora 

The inspection of the presidios which served as defenses of 
the northern provinces had been intrusted to the Marques de 
Rubi in August of 1765 ; from that time until the spring of 1768 
he was busy inspecting as visitor-general the military situation 
of the frontier and making his recommendation for the reor- 
ganization of the presidial line, a problem which Galvez was 
obliged to leave largely to the hands of others, though he had 
intended to make recommendations concerning it when he went 
to Sonora. 

This question occupied the attention of the Spanish and the 
viceroyal governments during the greater part of the eighteenth 
century. In 1724-28 Pedro de Rivera made an inspection of the 
presidios, and submitted a report which was printed in 1736. 
In 1759 and 1764 ordinances were drawn up in which the prin- 
cipal reform was the attempt to eliminate the practice of paying 
presidial troops in merchandise sold by their officers — a system 
which injured the soldiers and made the officers mere merchants. 
Attempt was made by Cruillas, acting sluggishly under royal 
instructions, to shift the alignment of the presidios so as to make 
them protect efficiently the actual frontier. His efforts were 
frustrated by interested land-holders of the provinces, who had 
got presidios placed near their property for their own special 
protection and combatted attempts to remove them for the sake 
of denning a frontier. The proposals of Rubi were submitted 
by Croix to his assessor and Galvez, who, in conjunction with a 
junta de guerra, approved the plan in its essentials. Several old 
presidios were suppressed, owing to the establishment of a new 
frontier upon the acquisition of Louisiana, and some new ones 
were created. The Rubi plan was ordered to go into effect in 
1772. The final establishment of the line, containing fifteen 
presidios for the defense of the frontier from Matagorda Bay 
to the Gulf of California, occupied the attention of Teodoro de 



7. Proposed Intendancy of California, 1770? A. G. I., 146-6-14. Listed by 
P. Torres Lanzas, Mapas y pianos de Mexico y Floridas (Seville, 1900), No. 264. 

Plans for Administrative Reorganization 289 

Croix and Hugo de Oconor, to whom much of the work was 
intrusted. 40 

6. The intendancies. — Had Galvez retained his health and 
had the Indians proved more tractable there is little doubt that 
greater progress would have been made in the initiation of the 
tw T o great administrative reforms which this minister recom- 
mended to the King just before departing for California, and 
which received the royal approval before he had left the frontier. ' 
These reforms were the establishment of the comandancia general^ 
and of the intendancies. They were twin measures, and con- 
cerned the frontier so intimately that it is appropriate to notice 
them in connection with the expedition of the visitor to that part 
of the viceroyalty. 

The plan for the intendancies was signed by Croix and Galvez 
on January 15, 1768. It contains something less than 5000 words, 
and is suggestive, not legislative, in form. Its purport, essen- 
tially in the words of Galvez, is as follows : 

Spain, at the death of Charles II, was in wretched state. His 
successor took active measures to re-establish national prosperity, 
one of which was the establishment of intendancies. The in- 
tendants have contributed to the rehabilitation of the country 
by the betterment of civil and economic government of the prov- 
inces. This is known by every one who compares conditions as 
they existed at the beginning of the century with the present 

In New Spain (where the system is the same as that of the 
mother country before the introduction of intendants), though 
there have been many attempts to make the colonial government 
similar to that of Spain, such a reform has been opposed by 
those who admire what is ancient, so that utter ruin impends. 
Since heaven has placed on the throne the most worthy son of 

4 o Croix, Correspondance, 291-2; Bolton, Texas in the Middle Eighteenth 
Century, 107-8, 377-386. 

290 Gdlvez in Sonora 

Philip V, who began the restoration of the greatest empire in 
the world, the time has come to complete the work. 

The viceroy of New Spain carries the burdens of the cap- 
taincy-general, the political and economic government, and the 
superintendency of real hacienda, with no help save that of the 
alcaldes mayores, who rather increase his cares than share them. 
The same is true of the two audiencias, which are often occupied 
with disputes between the alcaldes. 

The remedy will be to introduce the intendant system, where- 
by men of capacity will supplant these greedy, incapable tyrants 
who oppress the people and absorb the revenues which they 
should pay to the crown. Five or six hundred thousand pesos 
each year are lost to the King through peculations of alcaldes. 

It was with cognizance of this situation that the ministers of 
the King conferred upon Galvez the title of intendant when he 
received his orders for the visitation, that he might give in- 
struction in this kind of magistracy in America, where ignorance 
of the Peninsular system was so great that even subaltern ad- 
ministrators were often called super intendants. 

Most of the alcaldes are men of meagre intelligence, who do 
not know how to assist the viceroy ; they devote their energies to 
acquiring riches, and their lieutenants in the smaller towns only 
render the evil more widespread. Some alcaldes are honest, but 
overwhelmed with debts ; most of them think it proper to ap- 
propriate the tributes, of which the King receives only half what 
he should, to indemnify themselves for the purchase of their 
positions and for the half annats which they pay on the salaries 
which they do not receive. 

It is thought that, to establish the new system, eleven intend- 
ancies will be required. One of these should be a general in- 
tendancy of the army for the capital, and the others in the 
provinces, all to be dependent upon the viceroy as supreme chief 

A System of Regional Executives 291 

and superintendent of the revenues} 1 The ten intendancies 
should be established in Puebla, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Valladolid, 
San Luis Potosi, and Guanajuato, where the intendants should 
have 6000 pesos salary ; and in Guadalajara, Durango, Sonora, 
and the Californias, where the intendants should have 8000 pesos. 
The intendant of Mexico should receive 12,000 pesos, to enable 
him to maintain suitable lustre in the sight of the viceroy. 

These salaries will be repaid to the exchequer by the increase 
of revenues which the intendants will produce. They will sub- 
delegate their representatives to collect rents in the largest towns, 
leaving the administration of justice to the alcaldes ordinarios, 
who may also collect revenues in the smaller towns. For this 
they must have a percentage, lest they steal half, as do the 
alcaldes mayores now. In Guadalajara the intendant might be 
the president of the audiencia, so that his salary would have to 
be increased only 3000 pesos over the present salary of the presi- 
dent. The two intendancies of Sonora and the Californias, with 
that of Durango, should be subject to the new comandancia 
general. The salaries of the intendants will be provided for by 
decrease in expenditures for presidios and missions, the latter to 
be erected into parishes, which will be supported by tithes in- 
stead of by salaries to missionaries. 

The remainder of the plan goes on to discuss minutely sug- 
gestions for providing salaries and buildings for the new 
administrative offices. Two objections to the innovation are 
anticipated, namely, what to do with the retired alcaldes, and 
how to supply the place of the repartimientos. The objections 
are met by the statement that the alcaldes can be utilized as 
subdelegates of the intendants, and the Indians can obtain their 
supplies from the same merchants who at present supply the 
alcaldes. For the guidance of the intendants, the ordinance of 
1749 for Spain should be enforced, except as to its provisions for 

4i See above, pp. 57-8, 77. 

292 Gdlvez in Sonora 

the encouragement of manufacturing, which is prohibited in the 
colonies. 42 

This plan was approved by the King in August, 1769, with 
the proviso that it would be well to take sufficient time for the 
choice of suitable men to whom to confide the new positions. 
What all the obstacles were which delayed the actual establish- 
ment until 1786 we have not sufficient records to show. Some 
part of the delay was no doubt due to Bucarely, who felt that 
the new system was too cumbersome and too expensive, and who, 
in spite of his remarkable capacity, was not able to work har- 
moniously with Galvez in many particulars. No doubt the re- 
markably short terms of most of the viceroys who ruled during 
the period between Bucarely, who strongly opposed the change, 
and Revillagigedo, as well as the interruptions due to war, had 
much to do with the slowness with which this reform, and many 
others, were put into operation. 

The most notable difference between this original plan and 
that which was finally adopted was the separation of the viceroy 
from the superintendency of real hacienda ; after two years' trial 
the original plan of Galvez was adopted, as has previously been 
stated. The number of intendancies was increased to twelve, 
and the Californias were never constituted an intendancy, but 
remained a colony. 43 

42 In forme y plan de Intendencias que conviene establecer en las provincias 
de este Bey no de Nueva Espana, an excerpt from a contemporaneous manu- 
script in the Edward E. Ayer Collection of the Newberry Library, Chicago. 
The manuscript bears the modern title, Informe soore el estado de Mexico, 
California, Sonora, y Provincias remotas de Nueva Espana. Por Jose de 
Galvez, 1768-1778. See Richman, California under Spain and Mexico, pp. 
439-40, note 5. 

*3 To discuss the vicissitudes of the intendancies would extend this 
book far beyond its normal limits. Details of their inception may be 
found in Bancroft, North Mexican States, I, 642-4; History of Mexico, III, 
451-56; Eivera Cambas, Los Gobernantes de Mexico, I, 418, 427, 458, 460-1, 
479; A. Rivera, Principios Criticos, I, 72-3; Cavo, Los Tres Siglos de Mexico, 
365; Zamacois, Historia General de Mejico, V, 657-58; Humboldt, Political 
Essay, I, 266, 282-85. See Smith, The Viceroy of New Spam, 254-266, for 
an epitome of the Ordenanza as enacted. 

Partition of the Viceroy alt y 293 

7. The Comandancia General. — The plan for the establish- 
ment of the comandancia general was, like its companion meas- 
ure, the plan for intendancies, conceived and recommended to 
the King while the project for the Sonora expedition of Galvez 
was being arranged. It was submitted under date of January 23, 
just eight days later than the other plan, with the papers of the 
junta which recommended that Galvez be sent north ; indeed, the 
plan itself states that the establishment of the comandancia was 
made easy by the determination of the junta, for, since Galvez 
was going to the frontier vested with the supreme authority of 
the viceroy, he could, while he was establishing towns and ar- 
ranging the government of the provinces, erect the comandancia 
upon the basis suggested in the plan. 44 Briefly, the proposals, 
substantially in the form submitted by Galvez, follow : 

The comandancia was projected as a remedy for the decadent 
condition of the frontier, into which it had fallen from lack of 
attention by the viceroys, who were too far distant and too busy 
to make their orders felt in the remote provinces. The new 
government was to be erected in the Calif ornias, Sinaloa, Sonora, 
and Nueva Vizcaya. When the plan was finally adopted, Coa- 
huila, Texas, and New Mexico were added, while still later Nuevo 
Leon and Nuevo Santander were included. 43 It had been pro- 
posed in 1760 to erect the territory of the audiencia of Guada- 
lajara into an independent viceroy alty, but Galvez and Croix 
deemed a comandancia better and cheaper, as the present audi- 
encia of Guadalajara could attend to judicial matters, and the 
new comandante could govern the territory independently, hav- 
ing only the obligation to acknowledge the viceroy by keeping 
him informed as to his measures, and asking help from him when 
necessary. In this manner conflict of authority would be obvi- 

44 Plan para la ereccion de un Govierno y Comandancia General, que com- 
prehenda la Peninsula de Calif ornias, y las Provincias de Sinaloa, Sonora, y 
Nueva Vizcaya, MS, 104-2-23. 

45 Bolton, Guide, 75. 

294 Gdlvez in 8 (mora 

ated, and the new territory be made as prosperous as the vice- 
. v Especially valuable would the comandancia be in preventing 
/England and Prance from realizing their two-century-old project 
of penetrating to the Pacific from the Atlantic by way of the 
northern provinces, or in keeping the Russians from descending 
from eastern Asia into Spanish territory and establishing them- 
selves at Monterey. It would also serve to prevent the English 
and the Dutch, who had gained, since the time of Anson, intimate 
knowledge of the Pacific shore, from making further inroads on 
the west coast from the south. 

The new government was to have its capital at a town to be 
established in Sonora, and not at Durango, as had been sug- 
gested when the new viceroyalty was planned in 1760. At this 
new capital should be founded a mint for the benefit of the 
miners and the crown ; a new bishopric should also there have its 
seat, exercising control over ecclesiastical affairs of California, 
Sinaloa, and Sonora. 

The comandante should be independent of the audiencia and 
the president of Guadalajara ; he should have a salary of 20,000 
pesos, to pay for the expense of living with "some lustre" and 
making continuous journeys through his territory without con- 
suming the resources of its inhabitants in entertaining him — an 
evil from which the Indies had suffered exceedingly. 

For the defense of the comandancia, two companies of dra- 
goons and three of fusiliers, all of one hundred men each, would 
be needed. These troops, divided into flying companies, could 
protect the frontier at one-third the present cost of the presidios. 
They should be aided in this by five militia companies of infantry 
and cavalry to be raised in the Chihuahua district. If larger 
forces were seen to be needed for new discoveries and conquests 
they might be formed later, as the territory should prosper. 

For the protection of the Chihuahua frontier, a subaltern of 

The Inefficiency of Statecraft 295 

the governor should reside there ; for this post Captain Lope de 
Cuellar was suggested, as a reward for his activity when in 
charge of the expulsion of the Jesuits of Nueva Vizcaya. This 
would eliminate the corregidor of Chihuahua, and allow funds 
for placing at that post an officer to look after the revenues as a 
subordinate of the intendant of Durango. 46 

While Galvez was ill and mentally incompetent in Sonora, he 
declared in his delirium that he was going to place Teodoro de 
Croix in the position of comandante of the new government. 
Such was the appointment when it was finally made ; this was 
in 1776, by royal order of August 22. Croix returned to Mexico 
from Spain in December, and proceeded to Nueva Vizcaya in 
the following August. He continued in the command until 
1783. 47 

In the foregoing pages an attempt has been made to show, as 
Galvez expressed them, what his ideas were for the reorganization 
of the government of New Spain ; to attempt to trace these ideas 
to their conclusion as an actual scheme of government would 
be to write the entire history of the colony to the time of the 
revolution of independence. Nor is it profitable to speculate here 
upon the wisdom or efficacy of the conceptions of Galvez to 
accomplish their declared purpose — the prosperity of the colony 
and the increase of the royal revenues. But it must be observed 
that these reforms touched but lightly or too late upon the real 
misfortunes of New Spain, which were social and economic and %/ 
required remedy more fundamental than mere change of forms 
of government or fiscal administration. The task which was 
confided to Galvez still awaits a competent hand and mind to 
solve it, after a century and a half of bootless effort. 

^ Plan para la ereccion de un Goviemo y Comandancia General. 

4 7 For further account of the organization and operation of the govern- 
ment of the comandancia see Bancroft, North Mexican States, I, 637-642; 
History of Mexico, III, 450-451. C. E. Chapman, The Founding of Spanish 
California, Chapter 17. 



Once again in the capital after a continuous absence of over 
two years, now with broken health, and with a multitude of 
unfinished affairs to complete, the visitor was obliged to spend 
more than a year and a half in bringing to a conclusion his 
American commission. 

As had been the case everywhere previously, he was still 
occupied with many distinct duties concurrently, a fact which 
renders difficult a coherent account of his activities. His old 
impetuosity of the early years of the visitation was now some- 
what abated ; there was now time for an afternoon walk or drive, 
whereas formerly the entire day had not yielded hours suffi- 
cient for its duties. Physical activity was not, however, so 
essential as it had been, for much of the work consisted in 
hearing the conclusion of a number of incomplete processes of 
the visitation — those of the officials of Puebla and of Acapulco — 
and the arrangement of the municipal revenues, in accordance 
with the King's instructions. 1 Final measures had to be taken 
for the regulation of the various branches of the exchequer, and, 
finally, a comprehensive report of all his reforms and regulations 
had to be written, to be left with the incoming viceroy for his 
guidance ; with this report was to be made a complete statement 
of just what funds had been produced by all these measures. 
In the present chapter are considered the visitor's measures for 
municipal reforms and his activities regarding the Oriental trade 
of Acapulco. 

1. Control of the bakers' guild. — During the latter part of 
1770 Galvez occupied himself in the regulation of the affairs of 
the City of Mexico. One of the most difficult tasks connected 
with the administration of the affairs of the capital was that of 

i Instruction reservada, art. XXX, Appendix. 

Regulation of Food Supply 297 

seeing that the populace was provided with food, and that the 
prices of comestibles were kept within bounds. Control of the 
bakeries of the city was, then, an important problem. Observing 
that the bakers were not organized into a trade guild, and that 
they were engaged in frequent litigation among themselves, the 
visitor attempted to place them upon a better footing under 
control of the municipality by organizing them into a guild. 
For this purpose an ordinance was drawn up in November, 1770. 
It provided for the gradual reduction of the number of bakeries 
from thirty-eight to thirty, the latter number being thought 
sufficient to supply the city. The thirty bakeshops were to be 
placed at uniform intervals, as had previously been the arrange- 
ment when the number had been greater, for the convenience of 
the purchasing public. The members of the guild were assessed 
for funds with which to erect a common warehouse for their 
grain ; taxes were also levied 2 to raise funds to pay for litigation, 
purchase of bakeries to be extinguished, and other mutual in- 
terests. 3 Provision was made for maintaining the purity of the 
product of the bakeries, and the price of bread was placed under 
control of the municipal-court known as the fiel ejecutoria. This 
court was composed of three judges, two of whom were regidores 
of the city, chosen in rotation, and the corregidor. The fiel 
ejecutoria had charge of the supply of foodstuffs of the capital, 
and the adjustment of prices, the latter function being performed 
every four months, with especial care as to the value of wheat, 
and the number of ounces which should be contained in the loaves 
sold. Control of the internal affairs of the bakers' guild was 
vested in four deputies, elected every January by the members. 4 
These deputies were made responsible to a treasurer appointed 
by Galvez and the viceroy for the collection of duties, fees, and 
taxes from the members. The treasurer chosen was that Juan 

2 Croix, Correspondance, 263. 

s Cf . Smith, The Viceroy of New Spain, 176-77. 

4 Cf. Revillagigedo, Instruction Beservada, art. 318. 

298 The End of the Visitation 

Jose de Echeveste who served as treasurer of the tobacco mo- 
nopoly at the time of its organization. 5 

What gain the bakers were to realize for themselves from the 
new arrangement is not apparent; their profits depended upon 
the decision of the fieles ejecutores, who no doubt conceded to the 
bakers what they considered a fair return for their investment 
and labor. The guild was expected, however, to furnish funds 
to the city in the amount of 6000 pesos annually ; this sum was 
to be used in the maintenance of three hospitals for the poor. 

There was opposition to the organization of the guild by 
unnamed residents of the City of Mexico, who, said Croix, hid 
from the King the fact that the ordinance of Galvez had been 
enacted with the consent of the bakers and with the knowledge 
of the fiel ejecutoria, but complained to his Majesty that the 
measure was prejudicial to the public welfare. The King, in 
his reply to Croix concerning this complaint, called attention to 
the irregularity of putting such a measure into operation without 
consulting himself; Croix therefore prepared a report of the 
whole matter, which was still pending before the throne when 
Croix departed from his command in America. 6 

2. Reform of municipal finance. — More comprehensive in 
scope were the measures which Galvez took for the regulation of 

5 See above, pp. 143, 147, 151. 

6 Beglamento del Gremio de Panaderos de esta Capital para su Abasto y 
Erection de un Posito de Trigos y Rarinas a Beneficio de su Comun (Mexico, 
1771). Croix, Instruction que dejo, in Correspondance, 269. Measures at- 
tempting to prevent undue hoarding of flour and inflation of bread prices 
were the constant care of the viceroys, working indirectly through the 
fieles ejecutores or independently. Such measures were of great interest 
to Revillagigedo, who laid the difficulty of controlling bread prices to that 
clause in the Galvez ordinance which limited to a certain number the 
bakeries of the city. Even the existence of the gremio at all he deprecated, 
in conformity with the growing opinion in Spain at that time against 
trade guilds. He believed that free competition would prove the remedy, 
since that principle, established in the regulations of commerce, had 
brought so much benefit. It is very probable that Galvez himself had 
experienced a liberalization of mind between the date of his ordinance 
for the bakers and the promulgation of the free commerce pragmatic of 
1778. See Revillagigedo, arts. 318, 323, 338-41. 

A Central Accounting House 299 

the municipal affairs of the viceroyalty. By the terms of Article 
XXX of his Instruction reservada he was ordered to take cog- 
nizance of the revenues of the towns, and to see that proper 
system in their accounting was observed. Public expenses 
deemed superfluous he was to stop ; any unused municipal funds 
he was to order applied to the reduction of future municipal 
taxes (arbitrios), lest municipal officers be tempted to malver- 
sation of funds by reason of their undue accumulation. 

A beginning of this work had been made by Galvez shortly 
after he arrived in Mexico for the second time, in January, 1766 ; 
reports were called for from the municipal corporations of the 
viceroyalty concerning their financial condition. Incredible dis- 
order and confusion was discovered to be the rule in municipal 
accounting; in many of the cities it was found that no accounts 
at all were kept, even of simple receipts and expenditures. With 
such a condition it was inevitable that misuse of public money 
should be frequent. A remedy was sought in the establishment 
of a general accounting house (contaduria general) at Mexico 
which should keep the accounts of all the cities of the vice- 
royalty. This accounting house was put under the care of Benito 
Linares, one of the accountants of the visitation whom Galvez 
had brought from Spain in 1765. For the support of this estab- 
lishment the funds of the municipalities were taxed two per cent. 
Linares and his three assistants received collectively from the 
proceeds of this tax about four thousand pesos for annual sal- 
aries. So far as the regulation of the funds of cities other than 
the metropolis was concerned, the establishment of this central 
accounting house was the ultimate measure then taken. Its effect 
was to make the local officials feel their responsibility to the 
central government, without the consent of which, after the 
accounting house was established, no unusual expenses could be 
incurred by municipal officers. 7 

7 Municipal control in New Spain was exercised under the Ordcnanzas 
de gobiemo de la Nueva Espaiia, which are printed at the end of Monte- 

300 The End of the Visitation 

For the City of Mexico itself, the visitor's provisions were 
more ample. They were contained in the ordinance of 1771. 8 
The principal points in which the ordinance changed prior prac- 
tice were in provisions which limited expenditures and provided 
for six honorary regidores with advisory capacity. The usual 
regidores were given fixed salaries of five hundred pesos, with- 
out other fees, stipends, or gratifications of any kind. For such 
special duties as those of town clerk, police judges, and clerks 
of the market, the regidores were to serve in turn, without special 
compensation. Economy of expenditures for municipal and re- 
ligious functions was also enjoined. 

Income from the propios (revenues from municipal estates) 

was to be especially guarded. These revenues came from rents 

from store buildings, houses, and other real property, from 

censos (land taxes), licenses from butchers and slaughter-houses, 

sale of the office of inspector of weights and measures, and other 

similar sources. The income so derived was used to pay salaries, 

costs of public works, festivals, and the general expenses of the 

ayuntamiento. The only change made in these revenues by 

Galvez was to raise the licenses for slaughter-houses from three 

hundred to six hundred pesos per annum. Minute regulations 

were provided for collection and control of small fees from petty 

vendors who maintained counters or stands in the main plaza 

for sale of merchandise (puestos y mesillas de la plaza mayor). 

The officers who collected these fees were reduced in number 

from three to two, and they were placed under the direction of 

the municipal treasurer. 

mayor's Sumario (Madrid, 1678), Tercera Parte, pp. 1-60. Ordinances 
for the City of Mexico were approved by Philip V in a cedula of No- 
vember 4, i.728. They are presented with annotations in Rodriguez de 
San Miguel, Manual de Providencias Economico-Politicas (Mexico, 1834), 
pp. 187-247. See also his Pandectas Hispano-Megicanas, II, No. 2429, for 
the beginnings of municipal control in the capital after independence. 
See also Galvez, Informe General, 133-137. 

8 Beglamento e Instruction del Visitador Gral Don Jose de Galvez para la 
Nobilisima Ciudad de Mexico . . . mandada ooservar por el Marques de 
Crois, en Decreto de 22 de Enero del Ano de 1771, Mexico, 1771. 

Government of the Capital 301 

Collection of the important municipal revenue called the sisa, 
a duty of about three pesos per barrel collected on all liquors 
sold, was also placed under the management of the municipal 
treasurer, obviating the necessity for employees in the custom- 
house for this purpose. Inasmuch as the liquors were issued to 
purchasers from the custom-house, the accountant of that insti- 
tution was required to keep records of the quantities issued, as 
formerly; for his services in so doing he was to receive three 
hundred pesos instead of the five hundred previously paid. The 
sisa revenue of Mexico had, previous to 1770, been drawn upon 
annually for 3000 pesos for the maintenance of the criminal 
court known as La Acordada. The visitor ordered that this pay- 
ment should be continued only until such time as the amount 
needed could be prorated among the several cities of the vice- 
royalty in proportion to their income — a task to be performed 
by the accounting house for municipal funds above mentioned. 

The revenue known as the cuartillas (a payment in kind of 
three cuartillas in each carga, or 1.6 quarts in each two hundred 
and fifty pounds, about, of wheat or barley entered at the custom- 
house) was used by the municipality to prevent excessive prices 
on grains supplied to the public. Collection of this revenue was 
taken from the person to whom it was leased and placed under 
control of the municipal treasurer. The annual fee of the ac- 
countant of this revenue at the custom-house was reduced from 
three hundred to two hundred pesos. 

It would be prolix to follow the details of the ordinance in 
its provisions for the control of the municipal granary, for the 
collection of duties there, and for the guidance of the various 
city officials, or the salaries to be paid to the latter (a few of 
them with marked reductions). Sufficient has been stated to 
show that no sweeping change was made in the scheme of admin- 
istration of municipal revenues. The main purpose was to unify 
the functions of several officers in one, that salaries might be 

302 The End of the Visitation 

saved. In consonance with his general policy, Galvez placed the 
municipal revenues under administration of city officers instead 
of under lease, wherever this could be well arranged. This 
policy gave considerable added responsibility to the municipal 
treasurer, without added salary. The assimilation of the gov- 
ernment of Mexico to the form of that of Madrid, instanced in 
the appointment of the six honorary regidores by the viceroy to 
serve as a check upon the ayuntamiento, was always resented by 
that body as a particularly grievous manifestation of viceroyal 
intrusion. In 1794 the ayuntamiento succeeded in obtaining a 
royal cedula which gave to the elective and proprietary regidores 
the power of nominating the honorary ones, thus nullifying the 
purpose of the creation of the latter. 9 

As a municipal document, the chief interest of this ordinance 
is in the clearness with Avhich it demonstrates the lack of confi- 
dence which the government of New Spain reposed in municipal 
officers. The ayuntamiento of Mexico was particularly unfortu- 
nate in being under the direct eye of the viceroy, who left the 
municipal corporation little to do with public affairs. If the 
Spanish policy had been developed so as to give increasing in- 
stead of diminishing powers to the ayuntamientos, which were 
'/ composed almost exclusively of Creoles save in Mexico City, the 
story of Mexican separation from Spain might have been written 
with less bitterness than it was. 

The work of Galvez in municipal reform was much needed, 
but in the opinion of the second Revillagigedo, who was the only 
viceroy after Croix to enter with sympathy, enthusiasm, and 
understanding into the spirit of the reforms initiated by the 
great visitor, it was without practical avail. The ordinance of 
the intendants, initiated in 1786, embodied the plans of Galvez 
for municipal finance, but its provisions had not been enforced 
as late as 1794. The intendants were instructed under this ordi- 

Kevillagigedo, Instruction Beservada, art. 158. 

Contraband Trade with Manila 303 

nance to form regulations for the administration of propios and 
arbitrios, and to submit them to the junta superior of real haci- 
enda for approval. This duty was neglected, and municipal 
revenues were generally unequal to the constant demands made 
upon them — a situation due in great measure to the lack of busi- 
ness ability possessed by the regidores as a class, who for the 
most part bought their positions or inherited them ; in either case 
the purchase price rather than competence was the criterion of 
selection. "Malversation of public funds is a common and in- 
veterate evil," said Revillagigedo, "and concerning it many 
measures have been adopted, with little or no result, notwith- 
standing the establishment of the accounting house (contaduria) , 
which was the point upon which the visitor Jose de Galvez, later 
Marques de Sonora, labored most, and gathered least fruit. ' ' 10 

3. The commerce of Acapulco. — Among the last duties which 
Galvez performed before leaving Mexico was that of concluding- 
hearings of cases against the officials of the port of Acapulco. *j£ 
His activities concerning the Oriental trade began, indeed, almost 
as soon as he landed in Vera Cruz in July, 1765 ; at that time 
he learned how prevalent was smuggling at Acapulco, particu- 
larly upon the arrival and departure of the Manila galleon. At 
the beginning, it was impossible for Galvez to take active meas- 
ures to suppress the contraband trade of the western port, his 
subordinates being occupied along the Gulf shore and in Mexico. 
But in February, 1766, when the visitor was in Mexico, he em- 
ployed Cubas, the chief guard of the custom-house of Mexico, to 
watch the road between Acapulco and the capital, to discover 
what goods were fraudulently brought in among the baggage of 
the employees of the Acapulco subtreasury and by other means 
easy of operation on account of the small bulk of the usual 
Oriental merchandise. 11 

io Instruction Eeservada, arts. 154-6; Real Ordenanza para el Estable- 
cimiento e Instruction de Intendentes (Madrid, 1786), arts. 28-53. 

ii Galvez to J. X. Cubas, Mexico, February 27, 1766, 88-5-22. Same 
to Arriaga, Mexico, January 26, 1767, 88-5-23. 

304 The End of the Visitation 

It was an old practice for the customs officers and merchants 
to smuggle into Mexico great quantities of the imports of the 
galleons ; Cubas detected a number of instances of it during his 
watch of the highways. Nearly all the treasury officers of 
Acapulco were involved, and the castellano of the port, Fernando 
Monserrat, nephew of the viceroy Cruillas and bearing his family 
name, was likewise implicated. Receiving reports of this situ- 
ation from Cubas in April, Galvez began to verify them by the 
secret investigations of his own subordinates during the month 
of May, 1766. It will be remembered from the narrative in 
Chapter IV that this was the time when the quarrel between 
Galvez and Cruillas over questions arising from the Laguna de 
Terminos smuggling cases was at its height. It was hence impos- 
sible for the visitor to take any action at that time which would 
involve the nephew of the viceroy or that official himself, for the 
latter was determined not to assist him in the exercise of his 
commission, even when no personal questions were involved. 12 

The belligerent viceroy was removed in August, 1766, as has 
been seen ; with his elimination, the removal of the younger Mon- 
serrat from control of the Acapulco commerce was a mere matter 
of routine. For him was substituted Teodoro de Croix, nephew 
of the ruling viceroy. 13 It did not occur to Galvez that the 
appointment of a relative of the viceroy to the post of castellano, 
where he could, if he desired, co-operate with his uncle in Mexico 
to defraud the customs duties quite as freely as the two Mon- 
serrats were accused of doing, was' at all a questionable thing to 
do. Nor were there in his mind any objections to nepotism as a 
practice ; that the new viceroy and his nephew would avoid the 

12 Galvez, Representation (to the King), Mexico, January 26, 1767, 

13 This appointment was decided upon when Croix had been hardly a 
month in Mexico. "Je viens de le [Teodoro] nommer gouverneur d 'Aca- 
pulco, post qui lui voudra 6 mille ecus d 'appointements et ne 1 'oblige a 
y resider que deux mois et demi pendant le sejour du galion ..." (Croix 
to Huechin, Mexico, September 27, 1766, Correspondance, 201-2). 

Precautions Against Smuggling 305 

temptations peculiar to their positions was an assumption based 
on the character and previous record of the two Croix. 14 

As a matter of fact, it was not legally proven that the Mon- 
serrats had been engaged in smuggling, nor was any mention 
made of such a charge when Cruillas came to undergo his 

With the younger Croix now in charge at Acapulco, whither 
he went in December, it was now possible to act on the infor- 
mation obtained by the agents of the visitation in May. On 
November 28, 1766, were temporarily suspended with loss of 
salary all the remaining officials of the treasury and port of 
Acapulco. 15 They were to remain suspended until the King 
should decide whether or not to adopt the plan for reorganization 
of the royal service at Acapulco which Galvez initiated tempor- 
arily and proposed should be established definitively. 

This plan contemplated doing away with permanent revenue 
officials at the port. In their place were to be appointed two 
officers of the tribunal de cuentas of Mexico, to go to Acapulco 
upon the approach of the galleon to serve as contadores ordena- 
dores, a title invented for them by Galvez. It was to be their 
duty to serve as accountants of commercial transactions in which 
the government was interested in collecting duties ; they were to 
remain at Acapulco only during the time necessary to handle the 
business of the galleon. At the same time, the chief guard of 
the custom-house at Mexico was to go down to Acapulco with 
four assistants for the purpose of watching the ship and the 

14 "Vous ne pouvez vous figurer les friponneries que je decouvre; i] 
y a de mes predecesseurs qui se foisaient jusqu'a 250,000 livres par an en 
tolerant ou meme en faisant la contrebande; quant a moi, j 'aime mieux 
partir pauvre d'ici, plutot que de m'enrichir a ce prix" (ibid). See 
Burke, An Account of the European Settlements in America, 174-176, for a 
brief notice of the Acapulco fairs. 

15 "On les a remplaces par les plus honnetes gens qu'on a pu trouver; 
mais je les surveille et ai defendu a aucun batiment d'aller a la rencontre 
du galion, lorsqu'il sera signale" (Teodoro de Croix, letter, Acapulco, 
January 17, 1767, Correspondance, 204). 

306 The End of the Visitation 

harbor, lest illicit trading be carried on. Galvez believed that 
temporary officers at Acapulco wonld make it possible to save 
something over 6000 pesos annually in salaries, while their short 
stay at the port would discourage them from laying elaborate 
plans for contraband trade. Under the old system, it was shown 
at the trials of the suspended officials, consignments of goods to 
the treasury officers at Acapulco and Mexico were examined only 
perfunctorily at the custom-house, while the mule-drivers who 
carried the goods to the interior were often personal dependants 
of those in power at the capital, hence only outward compliance 
with the regulations was observed. All the employees, who 
should have been guarding the royal interests, had entered into 
collusion to defraud by all possible means, while still other evi- 
dences of corruption at the Manila end of the commerce were 
brought to light. 16 

The temporary officers went to their duty with full instruc- 
tions from Galvez as to every detail of the work. The chief 
responsibility for the success of the new plan devolved upon the 
younger Croix, who was expected to act under advice from the 
subdelegate of the visitation, who was at the time investigating 
the accounts of the subtreasury at Acapulco. In case of need, 
the accountants from Mexico might also be consulted. 

The instructions provided that when the galleon should ar- 
rive no one was to approach it without written permission from 
the castellano. Any one attempting to secrete goods being im- 
ported should have them confiscated, and be himself punished 
according to law. Especial care was to be taken to post guards 
at the towns south of Acapulco, from which the galleon was 
usually sighted several days before she arrived at the port of 
destination. One of the methods employed for smuggling was 
to enter the galleon at these towns and discharge as much as 
possible of the unregistered goods which she carried. Contra- 

16 Auto de la visita de Acapulco, November 7, 1766, 

Minute Inspection of Imports 307 

band was also delivered to canoes which put out from the shore 
to intercept the galleon. 17 The larger part of the excess cargo 
(500,000 pesos' value was then the legal limit — often exceeded 
by two or three times) was delivered at the port of Acapulco 
through the connivance of the treasury officials, the chief of the 
guard, and the castellano. Under the new regulations by Galvez, 
no canoes were to be allowed to leave shore upon the approach 
of the galleon, no stops were to be allowed at the smaller ports 
to the south, and delivery of smuggled goods at Acapulco was to 
be prevented by the same method as of old, that is, by the vigil- 
ance of the guards. The absolute honesty of young Croix was 
the greatest guarantee that this part of the reform would be 
rigidly adhered to. The most efficacious provisions of the new 
rules were, however, those which brought about the actual in- 
spection of the packages imported. 18 Under the old regulations, 
every package was assessed duty upon a valuation of 125 pesos, 
regardless of the value of its contents. As the most valuable 
goods occupied the least space, the rule was manifestly absurd, 
though examination of every package of the cargo must have 

i7 ' ' Jugez de ma besogne, car j 'ai plus de 60 lieues de cotes a sur- 
veiller" (Teodoro de Croix, letter, Acapulco, January 17, 1767, Corre- 
spondance, 205). 

18 "Vn mois apres mon arrivee a Acapulco, le galion arriva; je montai 
a bord sans rien dire, et le lendemain permis le debarquement; je fis con- 
fisquer et porter dans des magasins tout ce qui etait de contreband et 
demandai des ordres a mon oncle. Je lui dissais que si je maintenais la 
confiscation, ce qui n'avais d'appele que du Eoi et du Conseil des Indes, 
S. M. risquait de ruiner le commerce des iles Philippines; que du reste 
cela etait mon avantage, puisque sur la confiscation je touchais 300,000 
gros ecus, ou 1,500,000 livres, mais que l'on pourrait croire que c 'etait la 
le motif de ma severite. 

Le Vice-Eoi et M. le Visiteur general furent d'avis que S. M. aurait 
plus a y perdre et diminuerent la peine encourue. Le Eoi a touche son 
droit regulier, correspondant a la valeur de la cargaison; c 'est plus de 
deux millions entres dans ses coffres et je n 'eus pour le mien que 150,000 
livres, au lieu de un million et demi" (Teodoro de Croix, letter, May 29, 

1767, Correspondance, 206-7). Croix served again as castellano in January, 

1768, when the galleon of that year, the "Santa Eosa, " arrived, on the 
11th of the month. He reported her cargo a little more "en regie" than 
the preceding one (Teodoro de Croix, letter, Acapulco, January 27, 1768, 
Correspondance, 211). 

308 The End of the Visitation 

been exceedingly irksome and expensive. 19 The use of the mar- 
chamo in the manner prescribed for Vera Cruz added to the 
safeguards of the royal interests, and to the difficulties of con- 
ducting commerce. 

Undue importation of goods of course necessitated undue 
exportation of silver to pay for them. This exportation was to 
be checked by the use of guias, responsivas, and tornaguias, iden- 
tical with those used in connection with the Vera Cruz traffic, 
and explained in a previous chapter. By this system of careful 
checking Galvez hoped to prevent the exportation of sums so 
large as to cripple the commerce of the colony with Spain. 

The entire plan of reform for the Oriental trade was sub- 
mitted to the general accountant of the Council of the Indies, 
Landazuri. As was his habit, he disapproved of the measures 
of Galvez in no uncertain words. "All that has been done in 
regard to Acapulco and the commerce of the ship from the Orient 
manifests harshness, innovation, and confusion. ' ' 20 

Landazuri 's charge that the visitor's acts were unnecessarily 
harsh cannot be denied. The officials who were deposed in 
November, 1766, were left with their cases undecided for two 
years while Galvez was absent in Lower California and So- 
nora, and it was not until after repeated commands from the 
King that he completed the trial of the first three of the cases. 
Finally, in 1771, these first three officials were exonerated, though 
it was not until a year later that the remaining four were cleared, 
by the Council of the Indies, of the charges of smuggling and 
corruption which Galvez had made against them. 21 For six years 
they had been uncertain of their fate, without recourse for the 

lo Galvez, Instruction reservada (to Croix), Mexico, November 30, 1766; 
same to the contadores ordenadores, December 3, 1766, 88-5-23; Galvez, 
Informe General, 105, 110; Teodoro de Croix, letter, Acapulco, March 20, 
1767, Correspondance, 205. See below, p. 362. 

20 Landazuri, Informe, Madrid, July 2, 1767, 136-5-3. 

2i Galvez to Arriaga, Mexico, December 27, 1771, 88-5-23; Council of 
the Indies, Acuerdo, December 11, 1772, 88-5-23. 

Neglect of Judicial Reforms 309 

sums which they had paid for their offices, and without salaries 
or income with which to support their families. The petitions 
of the deposed officials are full of bitterness toward Galvez for 
his neglect of their cases. This neglect was rather accentuated 
than relieved by the action of the subdelegates of the visitation, 
who, during Galvez' absence on the frontier, cared to take little 
initiative in expediting justice. 

The consistent opposition of the Council of the Indies to 
Galvez' measures has been commented upon elsewhere in this 
work. This opposition was shown in the adverse decision of legal 
suits as well as in recommendations against constructive regu- 
lations intended to limit the privileges of the commercial inter- 
ests, and it may have been that Galvez, convinced that he would 
not be supported by the Council in punishing cases of alleged 
malfeasance, purposely delayed decision in order to assure him- 
self that offenders would be adequately punished before the 
Council could reverse his decisions. It is difficult to explain on 
any other hypothesis the long delays which he permitted in the 
cases which resulted from his visitation. Indeed, it may be said 
that his sense of justice was not highly developed, although he 
would have been the first to deny such an imputation. Coming 
as he did to New Spain for the purpose of reforming the courts 
of justice, as well as the offices of real hacienda, it is notable that y/ 
no effort worthy the name was made to correct the evils of the 
legal procedure of the viceroyalty. It is true that he was charged 
to make the visitation of real hacienda his chief commission, and 
it is also true that the great reform measure of his later ministry, 
the intendancy system, contained reforms of importance in judi- 
cial procedure in affairs of real hacienda. But with the admin- 
istration of justice, or with the need of reducing the excessive 
litigation which was the bane of administrative and private busi- 
ness, Galvez seems not to have interested himself in the slightest 
degree. Acute realization of the full evils of the judicial system 

310 The End of the Visitation 

and situation was not to come until the younger Revillagigedo 
saw them, and until it was too late to correct them. 

The work of Galvez in reforming the handling of the galleon 
trade was productive of great benefit to the public revenues. 
Due to the zeal of Teodoro de Croix, the revenue of the port was 
in three years increased by over 500,000 pesos, largely because 
he enforced the regulations which provided for the assessment of 
duty upon the bills of lading and upon the actual value of the 
goods imported, rather than upon a uniform valuation of 125 
pesos for each package. More important than this change, how- 
ever, was the provision of the royal cedula of December 18, 1769, 
which approved the new plan of operation established for the 
administration of the port, raised the duty on goods imported 
from the old rate of seventeen per cent to thirty-three and one- 
third per cent, and removed the duty on silver exported unless 
it exceeded one million pesos in value, in which case six per cent 
was to be paid on the excess. 22 

4. The return to Spain. — Two months' work in the capital 
after his return from the frontier convinced Galvez that he 
ought to return to his native land as soon as he could obtain 
permission to do so. 23 In November the King's tentative consent 
was obtained, but in the following May it was necessary for 
Miguel de Galvez to reiterate the visitor's request, to which con- 
sent was accorded, with the specification that he should remain in 
New Spain three or four months after the arrival of the newly 
appointed viceroy, Antonio Bucarely y Ursua, who had been for 
some years governor of Havana. 24 Permission was at the same 

22 Galvez, Informe General, 110; Fonseca and Urrutia, Historia General 
de Eeal Hacienda, V, 36-50. 

2 s Galvez to Arriaga, Mexico, July 26, 1770; Miguel de Galvez to 
Arriaga, in his brother's behalf, Madrid, October 28, 1770, 88-5-21. 

24 Arriaga to Galvez, San Lorenzo, November 3, 1770; Miguel de 
Galvez to Arriaga, Madrid, May 11, 1771; Arriaga to Galvez, Aranjuez, 
May 24, 1771, 88-5-21; Galvez, Informe General, 5. Bucarely took com- 
mand of the viceroyalty at San Cristobal on September 22, 1771. 

The Return to Spain 311 

time granted to Croix to return with the visitor. As a special 
favor, Galvez asked that he might be allowed to carry with him 
to Spain two persons who had been near him during his long 
illness, his nephew Bernardo, and that Fr. Joaquin the Bethle- 
hemite, who had been sent out from Mexico to Chihuahua to 
attend the visitor as physician while on the return to the capital. 
Permission to do so was granted, and six months' salary was 
advanced to Galvez to defray his expenses on the return voyage. 25 

During the closing days of November, 1771, Galvez prepared 
for departure on the "San Rafael" or the "San Bartolome, " 
vessels lying at Vera Cruz under command of the Marques de 
Casinas. After eighteen days of bad sailing, the visitor and the 
former viceroy reached Havana on December 17. They were 
detained at that port by contrary winds and inconstant weather 
until April 8, and arrived at Cadiz on May 21. 26 Proceeding at 
once to Madrid, Galvez was received with honor by the King; 
his personal debts to Echeveste incurred in Sonora, to the amount 
of 30,000 pesos, were ordered paid from the treasury. It was 
not long until he began to serve actively in his capacity as a 
member of the Council of the Indies, he having been honored 
with an appointment to that body before he had gone on the 
expedition to Sonora. 

We have now to turn our attention to a survey of the insti- 
tution of real hacienda in New Spain, and to the work of Galvez 
in his attempts to reform it. 

25 Galvez to Arriaga, No. 80, Mexico, August 3, 1771; Arriaga to 
Bucarely, Madrid, December 21, 1771, 88-5-21. 
2G Correspondance, 227. 


At the close of Chapter II an outline of the system of admin- 
istration of real hacienda as a part of the government of New 
Spain showed the connection between the various parts of the 
fiscal system, and dwelt upon its importance as a means of pro- 
ducing revenue for the Spanish monarchs. The various sources 
of revenue were not then discussed, it being desirable to defer 
their treatment until the recommendations for reform made by 
Galvez might be presented in their proper relations. It is now 
proposed to present a detailed account of the revenues of New 
Spain, their origin, nature, and such details of their history as 
are needed for a proper understanding of the system of public 
finance, and of the part which Galvez had in reforming it. 

At the close of the eighteenth century, when the institution 
of real hacienda had reached its highest development and its 
most complete organization, the public funds of New Spain were 
divided into three or, in fact, four groups. The first consisted 
of all moneys derived from imposts upon the ordinary and ex- 
traordinary activities of his subjects from which the king ex- 
pected to derive a net profit — after deducting the expenses of 
collection — applicable to the discharge of government liabilities, 
either within the viceroyalty or outside of it. The total amount 
of such net revenues was designated the masa comim, or general 
fund. Thirty-five ramos, that is, branches or sources of revenue, 
or, according to a variant grouping, thirty-eight branches, com- 
posed this group ; but the added three, composing the masa 
remisible a Espana, were, after the adoption of the intendant 
system, devoted to supplying money to Spain direct (they had 
done so earlier at intervals), and after that time their income 
was not applied to the masa comim. They might be called a 
separate group. 

Modes of Revenue Collection 313 

The second, or rather third, group of revenues, distinguished 
from those of the groups above by their origin and by the fact 
that they did not enter the general fund, was composed of five 
branches. They were dedicated to specific uses. 

The fourth group of funds was not in reality a constituent 
part of the royal revenues; it was made up of moneys derived 
from special sources and dedicated to specific purposes semi- 
private in character, but conceded the protection of the treasury 
on account of their close connection with the purposes of a 
paternalistic government. There were thirty-nine of these funds 
(ramos agenos), many of which might better be called liabilities 
or charges than sources of revenue or assets. 

When Spaniards spoke of real hacienda or the real erario, 
they meant those moneys or those financial activities which pro- 
duced government revenues, that is, the branches which com- 
posed the first two of the four groups. Before proceeding to 
the discussion of these branches individually, it should be stated 
that each of them was managed in one of three different ways, 
or, under certain circumstances, any specific revenue might itself 
be managed in all three of the different ways in the various parts 
of the viceroyalty. The commonest way of collecting revenues 
prior to the time of the visitation of Galvez was the arrenda- 
miento, that is, the plan of leasing the revenue to an individual 
for an initial payment or an annual one, or both. Such leases 
were advertised to be sold by the government and granted to the 
highest bidder, in case bids could be obtained. A modified form 
of the lease was the encabezamiento, by which a leading city or 
cabezon (such a city with its tributary district) was induced J£ 
to take upon itself the collection of one or more revenues for a 
share of the proceeds. The third method of collection, toward 
the general establishment of which the activities of Galvez were 
directed, was that of direct government administration ; that is, ** 
the revenues were collected by the treasury officials. Revenues 


314 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

either leased or administered were, especially in the case of very 
profitable ones, held as monopolies, either by the crown or by 
the lessees. Of course in the case of a monopoly (estanco) pro- 
duction of a staple commodity was restricted to certain persons 
or to certain areas, under contracts in which the price of pur- 
chase and of sale and delivery of the product monopolized was 
fixed. The result of the monopoly system was incessant conflict 
of interests between the contractors and other subjects whose 
activities were curtailed, with the concomitant smuggling and 
collusion to commit frauds. 

The lease of crown revenues was well nigh universal under 
the Hapsburgs, but was by the Bourbons considered the sign of 
a decentralized and hence a weak government. Lease to city or 
other corporations was supposed to possess the virtue of inter- 
esting a large number of persons in the equitable collection of 
the revenues. Direct administration was thought to be the best 
plan of operation where large net profits were certain. Where 
profits were risky, the government preferred to lease the revenue 
for a fixed sum, thus assuring itself a stated income in advance 
and reducing somewhat the number of salaried officers. 1 

1. Revenues from precious metals. — The first of the revenues 

1 Cf. Scelle, La Traite Negriere, I, 22-24. Those revenues of New Spain 
which were administered independently, that is, by specially appointed 
officers, in the time of Revillagigedo the younger, were: revenues from 
tributes, coinage, quicksilver, salt, gunpowder, playing-cards, the alcdbala, 
pulques, grocery licenses, dispensations, tobacco, lottery, and the postal 
service, the latter being subject directly to the superintendent general of 
posts in Spain. 

The revenues administered in the subtreasuries (cajas reales) were: 
those from duties on gold, silver, jewelry and assays, tithes, novenos, 
escusado y vacantes, half annats (both secular and ecclesiastical), lanzas, 
salable and renunciable offices, composition of public lands, cockfights, 
leather, snow, stamped paper, court fines, branding licenses, smuggling 
fines, the copper, lead, and alum revenues, the balances of accounts, 
aprovecTiamientos, proceeds of unclaimed property (bienes mostrencos) , and 

Certain duties were peculiar to Vera Cruz: the almojarifazgo, ballast, 
averia, armada and almirantazgo, the brandy, wine, and anchorage duties, 
and export duties on gold and silver (Revillagigedo, Instruction Beservada, 
arts. 928-930). Cf. Smith, The Viceroy of New Spain, 266-9. 

Duties on Gold 315 

which constituted the masa comun, or general fund of real 
hacienda, was the duty on assays of gold and silver (derecho de y: 
ensaye). The office of assay er was conceded to certain persons 
by sales dating from the year 1522, in October of which Dofia 
Juana, then reigning, ordered that all public offices not directly 
judicial in character should be sold. 2 Upon this basis the busi- 
ness was conducted generally in the various subtreasuries where 
the duty was collected, that is, in those situated near the mines. 
Thus it was conducted in Guanajuato at the time Galvez made his 
journey thither in 1767. The assayer at that place had bid 8000 
pesos for his contract, and had paid but one-third of the amount, 
yet the profit he was making was shown to be 20,000 pesos, the 
difference representing approximately what was lost to the crown 
by failure to take the revenue under administration. Similar 
conditions existed elsewhere, and the miners were not efficiently 
served, being subjected to delays and other vexations from in- 
sufficiency of assayers. The visitor therefore recommended that 
assaying should be administered, and numerous measures were 
taken to that effect after he had returned to Spain. It was not 
until 1782, however, that assayers were incorporated under the 
crown, by royal order dated November 19. Ordinances govern- 
ing the business of assaying were adopted in 1783, Matias de 
Galvez being viceroy. 3 

The levy of assaying duties was quite complex. Every assay 
of gold cost two pesos ; in addition, each mark 4 refined cost four 
reals. Every piece used by jewelers was assessed half a real for 
the government stamp. Every ingot weighing ten marks and 
over was assessed one ochava, and half of that amount if it 
weighed three to five marks. Silver paid three pesos assay duty 
for every ten marks ; every bar weighing over one hundred marks 

2 Fonseca and Urrutia, Historia General de Beal Hacienda, I, 45. 

3 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, 45-47; Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 157: 
Galvez, Informe General, 73. 

4 Eleven pennyweights. An ochava contained seventy-two grains. 

316 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

paid also one ounce, and lesser bars in proportion ; besides these, 
there were numerous smaller levies to be paid on gold and silver 
wire. 5 

In the quinquennium 1785-89 this revenue yielded a gross 
return of 391,460 pesos; the cost of administration was 255,360 
pesos ; net receipts, 136,100 pesos ; average annual return, ap- 
plicable to the general fund, 27,220 pesos. 6 

The second revenue, the derecho de oro, was derived from 
duties paid on gold extracted from mines and placers, in recog- 
nition of the king's prescriptive right to all metals found in his 
realms, a right recognized by declaration of the Cortes of Alcala 
in 1386. Under Juan I, one-third of the net product of the 
mines went to those who worked them. 7 By royal cedula of 
February 5, 1504, it was ordered that a revenue of one-fifth 
should be collected on all metals taken from the mines. Prior 
to that date the exaction had been variable. 8 This contribution 
of one-fifth was reduced to one-tenth by royal cedula of Sep- 
tember 17, 1548, for a term of six years, but this period was 
extended repeatedly until in 1572 it was made permanent for the 
mines of Nueva Galicia and Zacatecas. In 1716 the rate of one- 
tenth was established for New Spain entire by cedula of De- 
cember 30. By royal cedula of June 19, 1723, the duty on silver 
was reduced to one and one-half per cent and one-tenth, and by 
a later cedula of March 1, 1777, the duty on gold was reduced to 
three per cent, in order to stop smuggling. 9 

• r > Kevillagigedo, Instruction Beservada, arts. 1231-34. 

e By 1788-92 the net sum had risen to 30,516 pesos (Maniau, Compendio, 
2a parte, 159; Kevillagigedo mentions 35,000 pesos as the annual profit 
(Instruction Beservada, art. 1236)., The ordinance for assayers is found 
in Fonseca and Urrutia, I, 52-108; a table of the duties collected appears 
on p. 100 of the same work. 

7 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, 2-3. 

s Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 4 ; Bancroft, History of Central America, 
I, 185, note. 

9 Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 4-5; Eevillagigedo, Instruction Beser- 
vada, art. 1228. 

Duties on Silvei 


The duty on gold for the quinquennium 1785-89 amounted 
to 66,570 pesos. There was no cost of collection, hence the net 
annual revenue was 13,314 pesos. In 1788-92 the net product 
was 19,382 pesos. 10 

The third revenue was the fifth (quinto) paid on all silver s^f 
bullion. Prior to 1777 gold and silver had paid double seig- 
niorage, first at the provincial subtreasuries and again at the 
mint ; after 1777 the total duties on precious metals amounted 
to about eleven per cent. Humboldt, basing his statement on a 
Representation of the mining corporation of New Spain in 1774, 
showed that duties on silver then amounted to about sixteen and 
one-half per cent. The net annual product from gold and silver 
mining from 1765 to 1789 was as follows: 11 

















































io Fonseca and Urrutia, I, pp. xii, 34, 43 ; Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 6. 

11 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, pp. xii-xiii, 40-43; in the above table the 
fractions of pesos given in the original have been omitted, hence the 
totals are only approximate. Humboldt gives the total gold and silver 
production (not duties) between 1690 and 1803 as 1,353,452,020 pesos; the 
total registered gold and silver from all Spanish colonies from 1492 to 
1803 at 4,035,156,000 pesos; the amount smuggled during the same period 
816,000,000 pesos. Between 1785 and 1789 the receipts of silver in New 
Spain amounted to 9,730,000 pesos. The two and one-half million marks 
of silver annually exported from Vera Cruz equaled two-thirds of the 
production of the entire globe. It is interesting to note the colonial pro- 

318 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

The foregoing figures are of interest as showing conclusively 
that the charge brought against Galvez that his reforms were 
reducing the productivity of the mines by one-third was un- 
true. 12 The production of silver was singularly uniform, while 
that of gold was fluctuating, as in 1771 and 1772, for instance, 
when the placers of Cieneguilla, in Sonora, were yielding their 
best, the gold production was very high above the average. 

A fourth revenue, the bajilla, was derived from the manufac- 
ture of gold and silver jewelry. This duty was first collected in 
1578, and was paid in addition to the assay duty and the fifth 
at the rate of three per cent on gold and one and one-half and 
one-tenth per cent on silver, besides a tax of one real in each 
mark, to correspond to the duty which would have been paid if 
the metal had been coined. 13 

During the quiquennium 1785-89 the total revenue from this 
source was 70,805 pesos. The cost of collection was about 2000 
pesos, leaving a net income of 68,805 pesos, or 13,761 pesos an- 
nually. In 1786-90 the net revenue averaged 14,977 pesos; in 
1788-92 it was 13,625 pesos. 14 

A fifth revenue, that from coinage (amonedacion) , was one 
of the most ancient in New Spain. A mint, under lease, was 
established in Mexico by cedula of May 11, 1535 ; two other mints, 
one in Nueva Granada and another at Potosi, in Peru, were 
established at the same time. They operated under the laws 

auction of gold and silver upon which duties were paid in the time of 


New Spain produced annually 22,170,740 pesos 

Peru produced annually 5,317,988 pesos 

Chile produced annually 1,737,380 pesos 

Buenos Aires produced annually 4,212,404 pesos 

New Granada produced annually 2,624,760 pesos 

In 1775 Campomanes estimated the imports of gold and silver into 

Spain at 30,000,000 pesos, exclusive of that smuggled (Humboldt, III, 141, 

146, 389, 416, 418). 

12 See Chap. V. 

13 Fonseca and Urrutia, 1, 389; Eevillagigedo, Instruccion Beservada, 
art. 1229. 

14 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, 388-410; Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 64; 
Eevillagigedo, Instruccion Beservada, art. 1230. 

The Mint of Mexico 319 

which governed the mint of Castile. The seigniorage duty for 
the Indies was fixed by royal cedula of February 15, 1567, at one 
real for every mark of silver, this to be paid to the king, and two 
reals in every mark to be paid to the treasurer and to the con- 
tractor who operated the mint. A law providing the death 
penalty for coining silver on which the royal fifth had not been 
paid was enacted in 1535, and reaffirmed in 1565, 1620, and 1646. 
Civil suits to which mint operatives were parties were heard 
before the special court of the mint ; criminal suits in which they 
were concerned went before the ordinary justices. 15 

Coinage continued in private hands until the second quarter 
of the eighteenth century. Prior to 1718 the office of chief 
smelter {apart odor) was a salable one. In 1680 it was bought 
for 60,000 pesos, but the right to the office from this purchase 
was abrogated by the government in 1718. As early as 1729 it 
was proposed to operate the mint under government administra- 
tion, but the project was not then carried out. 

In 1733 the centralizing policy of Philip V was shown in the 
creation of a Junta de Moneda at Madrid to which was confided 
exclusive power to handle all matters concerning coinage of the 
Indies. Especially was this junta to prevent counterfeiting and 
frauds in the fineness of coins. Jose Patino, the secretary of 
state and hacienda, was president of the junta ; other members 
were chosen from the supreme royal council, the Council of the 
Indies, the contaduria mayor de cuentas, the Consejo de Ha- 
cienda, and from the junta de comercio. No appeal from the 
decisions of this new junta was permissible save to the royal 

In the same year that this junta was organized foundation 
■of a government mint was undertaken in earnest. Impetus to 
the work was given by the fact that a government mint for Spain 
had just been erected. Experts were sent out to Mexico with 

is Recopilacion, ley 1, tit. 23, lib. 4. 

320 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

machinery, and a new building, costing 200,000 pesos, was 
erected, to be paid for by a new duty of an added real in each 
mark of silver coined. The oidor Jose Fernandez de Veitia 
Linage, then superintendent of the mint, was instructed to make 
a thorough visitation of the official staff of the old mint, and to 
recommend to the viceroy what means might be employed to 
terminate the contracts which those officers held, so that the new 
institution might be put under administration. In 1730 the 
ordinances under which the mint operated were promulgated, 
and it was placed under administration in 1733. After this 
establishment coinage for individuals was discontinued, the gov- 
ernment purchasing and coining all the output of the mines on 
its own account. It was provided at this time that one million 
pesos should be kept in reserve for purchase of precious metals 
to coin. In 1780, by royal order of September 16, this sum was 
increased to 2,600,000 pesos. The mint of Mexico was the largest 
of its kind in the world ; from 1788 to 1790 its output was twenty 
million pesos annually. 16 

Government receipts from coinage from 1740 to 1749 were 
436,957 pesos ; the amount of money coined averaged 10,785,092 
pesos annually. For the period between 1733 and 1776, the 
average yearly income paid to the crown from the coinage duty 
was 692,150 pesos. Revenue from this source was augmented by 
the profit from the customary alloys used in making the coins. 
During the quinquennium 1785-89 the entire revenue, after 
deducting 1,766,735 pesos for operating and other expenses, such 
as purchase of new machinery, was 6,101,770 pesos, or 1,220,354 
pesos annually. The entire amount of money coined between 
1733 and 1790 was 810,905,885 pesos, on which the government 
profit was 22,843,975 pesos. From 1777 to 1790 the net revenue 
was 17,218, 623 pesos. 17 

is Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 34. 

17 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, pp. xiii, xiv, 106-296; Maniau gives the net 
product for 1788-92 at 1,369,424 pesos [Compendio, 2a parte, 37) ; Eevilla- 
gigedo, Instruction Beservada, arts. 949-973. 

Conservation of Coinage Revenue 321 

The interest of Galvez in the development of the mining in- 
dustry and all that pertained to it was little less than a passion, 
since it was to this industry that the home government still 
looked as the most profitable source of income. Reference has 
been made on earlier pages to his efforts in behalf of the mining 
corporation (cuerpo de mineria), and his measures for reducing >1£ 
the price of quicksilver and other necessities used in the mines. 
His suggestion, embodied in his report to Bucarely, for the 
improvement of the condition of the mint, was limited to one 
point, namely, that the sum (on which the treasury was still 
paying interest at five and six per cent) due to former mint 
officers as the price of abrogation of their leases when in 1733 
the mint was made a government institution should have been 
paid off long ago in annual installments. He recommended that 
the King be informed that this payment of interest was still 
working prejudicially to the net revenue from coinage, and that 
the situation should be remedied by paying up the principal — 
a sum slightly in excess of 700,000 pesos. 18 € 

2. Revenues from baser metals. — Revenues from mines of 
alum, copper, lead, and tin constituted a sixth branch of real 
hacienda. These mines were situated in the three districts of 
Santa Clara, Ario, and Laguacana, in Michoacan. Numerous 
other deposits existed, but they were not regularly wtfr^ed, and 
hence were not levied upon for appreciable revenues.* The earl- 
iest record of crown income from the Michoacan mines shows 
that they were leased in 1657 for a term of six years at two 
hundred and fifty pesos per annum. In 1731 a leasehold sold 
for 2800 pesos, and in 1787 for 1605 pesos. No attention was 
paid to these mines by Galvez. The elder Revillagigedo had, 
earlier in the century, made an effort to increase their output, 
but the product remained insignificant, being, in fact, insufficient 

18 Galvez, Informe General, 15; for later administrative details see 
Eevillagigedo, Instruction Beservada, arts. 974-998. 

322 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

for the military needs of the viceroyalty. When the mines were 
first operated the mineral produced was sold freely in the open 
market, but later, when crown necessities absorbed all that was 
produced, it was controlled as a monopoly. This was in 1792 
ordered abolished, but the order could not be enforced, owing to 
the excessive demand of the government for such minerals. The 
revenue for 1785-89 was 2732 pesos, and for 1786-90, 2612 
pesos. 19 

3. The tribute. — One of the earliest of all the levies of the 
Spanish kings upon their colonial subjects was the tribute, the 
seventh revenue of this list. When Cortes exacted from Mocte- 
zuma his pledge of vassalage, he received as an earnest of the 
submission of the Aztecs more than 100,000 golden ducats' value 
in gold, silver, and precious stones. 20 The tribute was, indeed, 
an ancient revenue among the Aztecs; every eighty days they 
paid their overlord tributes of more than one-third in all kinds 
of effects and manufactures, personal service being demanded of 
those who had nothing else to give. The Spaniards began to 
collect the tribute in New Spain in 1522 ; the amount required in 
token of vassalage was reduced during the time of Mendoza to 
only thirty-two reals (about 4 pesos) for each Indian. Income 
from tributes was applied to real hacienda by Charles I, but 
Philip II in 1573 gave it in large part to the encomenderos, re- 
serving to ^himself the tributes from the Indians living in the 
chief towns and ports. In 1572 he ordered that the corregidores 
should not keep all the tribute they collected, but turn over a 
part of it to the crown. Up to the time of the intendants col- 
lection of the tributes was almost uniformly in the hands of the 
corregidores and alcaldes. 21 

19 Fonseca and Urrutia, III, 521-637; Kevillagigedo, art. 1307. 

2 Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 8, says 100,000 pesos; Fonseca and 
Urrutia say 1,000,000 pesos; see Cortes' first letter to Charles I, translated 
in Humboldt, Political Essay, III, 111. 

2i Fonseca and Urrutia, I, 412-414; Bancroft, History of Central America, 
I, 262-4, note 7, discussing the repartimiento and the encomienda, outlines 

The Progress of Legislation 323 

In 1537 the tributes of various districts were leased to col- 
lectors, commissioners having been previously sent out to esti- 
mate the number of Indians who ought to pay tribute, and to 
find out what amount they were capable of paying. By 1544 
the treasury (caja real) of Mexico, with four keys for as many 
officials, was used to contain the crown funds, including the 
tributes.. In 1553 the corregidores were in charge of the collec- 
tion of the latter revenue. 

The audiencia of Mexico in 1571, under authority of a royal 
cedula dated twenty years earlier, made efforts to regulate and 
standardize the collection of tributes in the various towns. By 
the unequal regulations then adopted tributaries in towns where 
shawls (manias) were woven paid one paerta (a woven door 
curtain?) and about one hundred and fifty pounds of maize. In 
other places married tributaries paid seven and one-half reals 
and one fanega (one hundred pounds) of maize. Unmarried 
tributaries paid half the latter tax. 22 

In 1569 there were one hundred and fifty alcaldias mayores 
in New Spain, the tributes from which went to the king alone. 
They produced 326,403 pesos in revenue, most of the amount 
being derived from public auction sales of the produce in which 
the tribute was paid. The goods accepted to satisfy the impost 
were cochineal, cacao, wheat, fish, honey, poultry, and clothing. 
The auctions were held in the presence of an oidor and a fiscal 
of the audiencia. 

In 1574 the tribute was levied upon all free negroes and free 
persons of colored extraction, the rate being two pesos per capita 
per annum. A year later Indians who should peaceably settle 

the system of collecting the tribute in the Indies; Zurita, Brebe y Sumaria 
Relation (MS, 1554) is a lengthy dissertation on the tribute system before 
and after the conquest, addressed to the crown by this noted jurisconsult. 
A contemporary copy is in the Bancroft Collection. The Relation is 
printed in Garcia Icazbalceta's Nueva Coleccion de Documentos para la 
Historia de Mexico (Mexico, 1886-92, 5 v.), Ill, 71-227. 
22 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, 416; Eevillagigedo, art. 931. 

324 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

in towns and become Christianized were allowed to pay half 
tribute for a term of two years. Philip III exempted voluntary 
converts from tribute during the first ten years of their " re- 
duction. ' ' 

By 1580 the order exacting tribute from persons of negro 
blood was in general effect. At that time the rate of two pesos 
was established for all persons liable to the tax. From this duty 
the Tlascalans were exempt on account of the assistance which 
they had rendered to Cortes ; in 1591 they were, nevertheless, in 
common with the tributary class, obliged to pay a new tax of 
four reals known as the servicio real (a payment in lieu of per- 
sonal services to the king). 23 

In 1597 the increase of revenues from tributes and quicksilver 
obliged the viceroy to create a general accounting house in Mexico 
to keep the accounts of these revenues for New Spain proper, 
which had previously been under the care of the treasury officials. 
The head of the new office received 1875 pesos in salary, and was 
bonded for 40,000 pesos. By the creation of this new accounting 
house the audiencia as well as the treasury officials were relieved 
of direct care of the two revenues. Such was the situation until 
the time of Galvez, who recommended that the authority of the 
accounting house should be extended over the territory of the 
audiencia of Guadalajara, just as the authority of the accountant 
of the alcabala revenue had been. 

In 1600 the tribute, then apparently collected at one peso 
per capita, produced a gross revenue of only 256,012 pesos. 
Expenses of collection were practically 40,000 pesos; salaries of 
corregidores consumed over 19,000 pesos, pensions to descend- 
ants of the conquerors took 36,000 pesos, and small sums went 
to the college of San Juan Letran in Mexico, to pensioned officers, 
etc. The royal treasury retained only about 144,000 pesos. 24 

23 Maniau, Compendio, 2a -parte, 9; Solorzano, Politica Indiana, I, 64- 
69; Becopilacion, titulos 12-17, lib. 6. 
24Fonseca and Urrutia, I, 421. 

The Encomiendas 325 

Certain fixed charges were made against tribute revenues to 
pay inheritances to holders of perpetual encomiendas. The first 
payment of this kind was made in 1577 ; as late as 1791 heirs 
of Cortes and Moctezuma, as beneficiaries of perpetual enco- 
miendas, received annually over 100,000 pesos from tributes. A 
small amount was also paid at the latter date to holders of 
temporary encomiendas, these being granted for one, two, or 
three lives, and reverting to the crown upon lapse. In 1602 and 
1612 it was ordered that lapsed encomiendas should not be again 
alienated from the crown. 25 Originally the grant of an enco- 
mienda confided to the recipient temporal and spiritual care of 
a group of Indians in return for a part of the tribute. Latterly, 
temporal aid to the natives consisted of the sale by the alcaldes 
mayores of supplies needed, especially for agriculture. Even 
this aid was withdrawn in 1786 by the ordinance of the in- 

There was no uniformity in the amount of tribute collected 
in different localities, nor was there regularity in the time of 
collection. In the last quarter of the century there were one 
hundred and fifty alcaldias mayores and districts (partidos) 
which paid tribute into the general accounting house. Some of 
them paid every four months, some semi-annually, and still others 
annually. After 1756 the practice was quite general to pay every 

25 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, 426; for various inheritances paid from 
tributes see the work cited, pp. 455-74. The sixteenth and seventeenth 
century encomiendas are discussed in Solorzano, Politica Indiana, I, 224- 
433. Discussing the effect of the Galvez reform of the repartimiento system, 
or rather its abolishment, by Article 12 of the ordinance of the intendants, 
Kevillagigedo says that the immediate effect of the measure was inimical 
to the welfare of the Indians, hence indirectly to the prosperity of agri- 
culture and the public revenues. When the repartimiento — the provision- 
ing of the Indians with tools, animals, and seeds — was done away with, 
the former recipients of these supplies were bereft of the initial means of 
livelihood. The local justices, to whom the ordinance was particularly 
offensive, exerted themselves to make its provisions odious in the extreme, 
refusing to advance supplies to the Indians on credit. Added confusion 
came from persistent rumors that the intendancies were to be suppressed 
and the repartimientos restored; pending some definite determination the 
Indians remained helpless (Instruction Beservada, arts. 456-8). 

326 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

four months. During the later period the contribution was 
usually paid in money, the amount commonly being two pesos 
and one-half real. Besides this sum, half a real was collected 
from each tributary for the Indian hospital, and another half 
real for legal services for Indians (medio real de ministros) . In 
some places the tribute was twelve reals, in others eighteen, and 
in still others twenty reals. Where the tax was paid in kind 
there were even greater irregularities. On the northern frontier 
the Indians usually escaped the tribute, as in Sonora and Sinaloa 
(except Culiacan), most parts of Nueva Vizcaya, 'and Texas. 
In New Mexico tributes were paid during the earliest period, 
and even until the close of the eighteenth century. In some 
of the frontier regions a smaller tax, called vasalaje, was col- 
lected as a preparation for the exaction of the full tribute. 

The lack of tributaries on the northern frontier is explained 
by the lack there of Aztec peasantry among the natives, hence 
of Indians of settled life. In Nueva Vizcaya the inhabitants 
avoided the tax by virtue of having pure white blood or by pre- 
tending that they had. In Sonora in 1793 there were only 251 
Indians who paid tribute, while in Sinaloa 1851 then paid it. 26 
This condition prevailed in spite of the earnest efforts of the 
viceroyal government to change it. A conspicuous effort of this 
kind was made by Jose Rodriguez Gallardo, who was sent to the 
frontier in 1753 to establish collection of tributes, and to deter- 
mine other frontier problems, for the solution of which he held 
a commission as visitor-general. His efforts concerning tributes 
produced nothing but discussion, which continued until the time 
of Galvez. 

The latter minister undertook to establish the revenue from 
tributes upon an equitable basis. To that end, he called upon 
the chief accountants of the branch in 1769 for a full report of 
the gross and the net income, and the rules for the collection of 

20 Humboldt, Political Essay, IT, 241, 257-8. 

Suggestions for Collection of Tribute 327 

the tax. The report showed that, owing to epidemics, the tribute 
had fallen off remarkably in the trienninm just completed, and 
that a considerable number of negroes and mulattoes in the 
larger cities were escaping the levy through failure of the author- 
ities to have that class of the population properly registered. 27 

The report of the chief accountant of tributes, Fernando 
Jose Mangino, was approved by Galvez, but as the new viceroy, 
Bucarely, arrived before measures could be taken to put new 
plans into practice, the proposals of Mangino were included in 
the recommendations which Galvez made to Bucarely. 

The first of these proposals was that the exaction from the 
Indians should be equalized ; at that time the lowest tribute paid 
was about one peso, the highest amount paid by Indians was 
about two pesos, while negroes paid three pesos. The second 
proposal was that all unmarried Indians between the ages of 
eighteen and fifty, hitherto classed as half tributaries, should 
pay the entire tax, in accordance with ley 7, titulo 6, libro 8, of 
the Recopilacion. This recommendation was prompted by the 
fact that the obvious effect of discrimination in favor of single 
Indians had been to discourage matrimony, working to the prej- 
udice of society. Married women were also to be made exempt 
in fact, as they were in theory, by ley 19 of the titulo and libro 
above cited, from paying tribute. 28 

Another suggestion was that the tribute of two pesos, pro- 
vided by ley 9, titulo 5, libro 6 of the Recopilacion, should be 
regularly collected in all the mining camps. Galvez had, while 
on his expedition to Guanajuato in 1767, as has been noticed in 
a previous chapter, taken measures to enforce the collection of 
the tribute in the mines there ; the mere observance of existing 
rules resulted in an increase of revenue from this capitation tax 
in the sum of 25,000 pesos annually. 

27 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, 431-450. 

28 Galvez, Informe General, 92. 

328 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

The fourth suggestion was that the mass of the common 
people of Mexico City should be accurately registered by an 
oidor of the audiencia acting as a visitor, and that in the metrop- 
olis the tribute should thereafter be efficiently collected by the 
alcaldes. Such a practice was then in operation in Guatemala, 
being, indeed, legally prescribed in ley 21, titulo 5, libro 6 of 
the Recopilacion. Observance of this law had been urged upon 
Galvez by the fiscal of the audiencia, but action had been delayed 
owing to migrations of the people due to economic conditions 
resulting from dry years, and to the fact that the commissioners 
appointed by the visitor and the viceroy to report on the revenues 
of the country had not yet made their reports. 

Lastly, it seemed wise that the alcaldes mayores who collected 
the tribute should be given a certain percentage of the gross re- 
ceipts from wandering Indians (vagos). It was believed that 
this plan would keep the alcaldes from stealing, as they did at 
that time, and the percentage would make them alert to collect 
all the tribute possible. Indeed, the visitor was certain that the 
unproductiveness of the tribute was chiefly due to the character 
of the alcaides mlayores, who were not interested in collecting 
any other than the tributes of the thoroughly ' ' reduced ' ' Indians 
(i.e., those settled in towns and Christianized), as their personal 
incomes were not increased in proportion to the exertion required 
to obtain the tax from the unsettled population. 29 

The remedy for this, as for a number of other economic ills, 
was to be the establishment of the intendancies, the plan for 
which had already been accepted by the King. It was hoped 
that the intendants, by virtue of being chosen from a better class 
of society, could be profitably intrusted with administrative 
duties which the alcaldes had proven themselves incapable of 
discharging. They were to be given exclusive jurisdiction over 
the accounts of the tributes and other revenues of their districts, 
in the expectation that large increase in them all would ensue. 
29 Galvez, 1 n forme General, 96. 

Increased Returns 329 

Especially easy would it be to augment the revenue from 
tributes. Galvez thought that there were in New Spain two 
million Indians, judging from estimates which he had required 
from his subordinates. Of this number — eliminating unmarried 
females, who were exempt, and wives, who paid half their hus- 
bands' tax — there were probably 600,000 Indians who should 
have been paying sixteen reals each, or 1,200,000 pesos ; of the 
900,000 half-castes, 200,000 should have been paying 500,000 
pesos annually. The fact is that such results were never realized. 
Just previous to the Galvez visitation, the average net return 
was a little over 600,000 pesos. In 1769 the receipts were 705,419 
pesos ; the highest receipts began to be realized after the decree 
establishing the intendants ; during the decennium 1780-90 they ->• 
averaged 840,918 pesos. From 1600 to 1790 the total crown 
revenues from tributes and the servicio real totaled 72,917,793 
pesos net. From 1788 to 1792, tributes produced 1,057,715 pesos 
annual average, of which 899,321 was net. In 1799 the net 
product was 1,247,000 pesos, a height reached but the once. 30 

The suggestions which Galvez, or Mangino, made with respect 
to the tributes were incorporated in the ordinance of the intend- 
ants, but some of them, notably the equalization of the tax, were 
not put into effect. Collection of the revenue was regulated by 
ordinances drawn by Cruillas in 1765 and given royal sanction 
July 8, 1770. 31 

4. The censo. — The eighth branch of real hacienda, the censo, 
merits attention only for the purpose of demonstrating that no 

so Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 13. 

31 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, 411-518; the Beglamento y ordenanzas of 
Cruillas appear on pp. 475-518 of the work cited. Page 450 is followed 
by a table showing the 1181 jurisdictions in which tributes were collected. 
In them twenty-nine different rates of collection were in effect in 1790 
or 1791. In 791 jurisdictions the rate was two and one-half pesos; in 
other parts it varied from one and one-half to three pesos. All women 
were exempt, as were all chiefs and their first-born sons, the sick, and 
those enlisted in the militia (Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 10-11). On 
the early history of the tribute in the Indies see Solorzano, Politica Indiana, 
I, 155-172. 

330 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

source of income was overlooked. This revenue was derived from 
•i. the payment for emphyteutic use of public lands, water, and 
other royal property. It seems to have been the only royal tax 
on land itself which existed in New Spain, though the munici- 
palities collected land taxes. That revenue which depended upon 
agricultural prosperity and formed the basis of computation of 
rural wealth was, of course, the tithe. The censo was not levied 
on privately owned lands. It was collected by the revenue offi- 
cers, and so suffered no deductions for expenses of collection. 
Among the lands upon which the censo was paid were certain 
pieces in San Sebastian and Aguas del Venado which had been 
confiscated from insurgent Indians in 1762. These lands pro- 
duced 492 pesos annually. Other property, including lands ac- 
cessory to the palace in Mexico, brought the annual total during 
the quinquennium 1789-93 to 1152 pesos. Lease of royal demesne 
in Durango, Merida, Tabasco, Penol Blanco, and San Bias pro- 
duced during the same period an additional sum of 1223 pesos. 
During the quinquennium preceding (1785-89) the censo pro- 
duced 1326 pesos annually. 

Galvez noted regretfully that this revenue was insignificant 
in New Spain ; he particularly felt that it ought to be collected 
from a number of vineyards which had been planted in the 
Provincias Internas in spite of prohibitions favoring Spanish 
viticulture. As an annual tax of two per cent had been put 
upon such vineyards in Peru, those of New Spain, thought the 
visitor, ought to pay at least as much, if not more, or they might 
even have the ancient prohibition reimposed for the sake of re- 
moving this source of confusion to the interests of the nation in 
its commerce in liquors. 32 

5. Sales of offices. — A ninth revenue was derived from sums 
received from sale or renunciation of non- judicial government 

32 Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 75-76; Eevillagigedo, arts. 1359-60; 
Galvez, Informe General, 109. See above, pp. 28, 34. 

Auction of Administrative Posts 331 

offices bought by the subjects of the crown for one or more lives. , 
Purely judicial offices were never legally sold, though it is certain * 
that under the later Hapsburgs even the members of the highest 
councils bought their seats. The practice in Spain at the time 
of the discovery of America was to sell administrative offices in 
perpetuity; in America the earliest practice was to grant them 
for one life only. At the end of the period for which the office 
was purchased it reverted to the crown for resale or other dis- 
position, as it did upon resignation. By virtue of a cedula of 
November 13, 1581, salable offices might be extended to a second 
generation, the king receiving one-third the amount of the orig- 
inal purchase price. On December 14, 1606, the American prac- 
tice was harmonized with that of Spain, that is, salable offices 
were granted in perpetuity. 33 They were usually granted upon 
competitive bids, when these could be obtained, at public auction 
and in the presence of an oidor. Such offices were the positions 
of alguaciles de audiencias, alguaciles de ciudades y villas de 
Espanoles, a round dozen of different kinds of notaries (escri- 
banos), receivers and solicitors (receptores and procuradores) 
of the courts, treasurers, assayers, and mint officers generally, 
accountants, the position of defender of the estates of minors 
and deceased persons, etc. Renunciation of office might be 
accepted upon payment of half the original purchase price if 
for the first transfer ; later transfers were permitted upon 
receipt of one-third the purchase price. Later, the half annat 
and eighteen per cent of the annual salary for transportation to 
Spain were added to the expense of renouncing an office. 34 

Sums received from this source yielded 16,697 pesos in 1765. 
In 1770 50,000 pesos were realized. From 1785 to 1789 the an- 
nual revenue was 33,718 pesos, while from 1765 to 1790 the total 
income was 869,812 pesos. In 1788-92 the receipts were 29,650 

33 Maniau, Compendio, Ba parte, 68. 

s^Fonseca and Urrutia, III, 63, 69, 75; Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 69. 

332 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

pesos, from which were deducted 2535 pesos for maintaining a 
lodge for members of the Council of the Indies, leaving a net 
balance of 27,115 pesos. 35 

Galvez believed and recommended that many salable offices, 
such as those of the postal system and of the gold and silver 
revenues, should be made appointive, inasmuch as they produced 
little revenue by sale in comparison to the income which they 
produced for the purchasers. He did not think that small mu- 
nicipal offices and others of little importance should be made 
appointive, since that method would lose to the treasury such 
sums as were paid for purely honorary offices, as instance those 
of regidores. SQ Revillagigedo was outspoken in his opposition to 
the practice of selling offices. It often resulted in unfortunate 
selection, when by proper appointment a better class of public 
servants might have been obtained, whose efficiency in adminis- 
tration would have more than compensated for the loss of rev- 
enue which would follow discontinuance of sales. 37 

A revenue similar to that just considered, but separately ac- 
counted for, was derived from sale and renunciation of chan- 
cellorships. These offices originated in America upon the estab- 
lishment of the audiencias. They were salable and renunciable 
until 1777, when by royal cedula of October 19 they were taken 
under crown administration. In 1785-89 this revenue produced 
1855 pesos. The cost of collection was 1397 pesos. In 1788-92 
the net proceeds had fallen to 674 pesos. 38 
^j 6. Stamped paper. — Profit from the sale of stamped paper 
yielded the eleventh revenue. Paper bearing the royal coat of 
arms was in 1636 made obligatory for use in all legal transac- 

35 Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 71. 

36 Informe General, 129. 

37 Instruction Beservada, art. 1277. Villarroel said of the salable offices 
connected with the audiencia that they were "the impassable barrier to 
justice — the consuming worm of all the funds of the kingdom" (Enferme- 
dades Politicas, 28-29). 

38 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, p. xv; Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 164-6. 

The Tax on Legal Transactions 333 

tions in Spain. In 1638 it was ordered used in America, where 
it came into general use in 1640. It was usually imported from u 
Spain, though when the imported supply ran short it was per- 
missible to print more in Mexico. The alcaldes mayores sold it, 
but received no compensation for so doing. The general dis- 
tribution of stamped paper in the territory of the audiencia of 
Mexico was managed at first by the treasury officials, but after 
1750 it was placed in the hands of a treasurer who bought the 
office and received as profit eight per cent of the proceeds of 
sales. In the audiencia of Guadalajara a similar officer had 
charge of the general distribution. 

Galvez found that stamped paper was very scarce in New 
Spain, and that it was frequently misused or wasted. His re- 
form suggestion was that of trying to sell the paper in the local 
headquarters of the tobacco, gunpowder, and playing-card mo- 
nopolies in the audiencia of Guadalajara, allowing four per cent 
profit to the vendors ; if this plan should prove advantageous, 
it might be extended to New Spain proper. It was certain to 
Galvez that the alcaldes mayores would never exert themselves 
to extend sales of the paper, since they had to sell it without 
profit, and had to give security for their stock. Under the ordi- 
nance of the intendants, the suggestion of Galvez was put into 
effect, though tardily, by Revillagigedo. Distribution of stamped 
paper was placed in the hands of the administrators of the tobacco 
revenue; they gave bonds for their stock to the officials of the 
treasury, and received only four per cent for distribution. 39 

The paper distributed at the period of the Galvez visitation 
produced 49,000 pesos gross revenue ; under a previous contract 
it had produced only 34,000 pesos. In 1785-89 the income was 
56,431 pesos, while by 1788-92 the net revenue was 60,756 pesos, 
after deducting 4704 pesos for administration. 40 

39 Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 97; Bevillagigedo, art. 1294. 

40 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, p. xv; Galvez, Informe General, 120-121; 
Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 98. Colonial stamped paper was of four 

334 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

7. Half annats. — Half annats, the twelfth revenue of this 
list, produced crown income in New Spain after 1625. In that 
year, by cedula of July 21, Philip IV ordered one month's salary 
(mesada) collected from all temporal and secular officers of his 
realms to help pay for his European wars. The exaction was 
later extended to ecclesiastics, but their payments were not 
entered in the general funds of real hacienda. In 1632 the 
contribution was increased to half of one year's salary, hence 
the name media anata — a half year's tax, a contribution which 
was similar to the payments made by members of the old Koman 
curia. At the above date not even the Most Serene Infantes 
were exempt from the half annat. 

In 1632 a schedule was established in all the Spanish domin- 
ions, providing, with a few minor exceptions, that all officers 
should pay half of one year's salary and one-third of all other 
emoluments, plus eighteen per cent for transportation to their 
post in the Indies. 41 This was for appointive offices. For pur- 
chased offices the annat was about five per cent, on the average, 
of the price paid. Inheritors of encomiendas Avere charged the 
regular half annat. In the lower grades of employment, crown 
employees down to hatters, bakers, and the like, paid a salary- 
tax or wage-tax under the name of the half annat, in the sum of 
one ducat per annum or more. 

For titles, honors and the like the recipients paid an an- 
nuity specified in their grants. Titles or high offices were often 
conferred with the specification that they were to be free from 
the half annat. Among those who were regularly exempt were 
military officers, pensioned officers, judges of residencias, subor- 

denominations : the first class sold at three pesos per pliego (double sheet), 
the second class at six reals per pliego, the third class at one real per 
pliego, and the fourth class at one cuartilla (one and one-quarter cents) 
per pliego (Maniau, Compendia, 2a parte, 95). This real was one-eighth of 
a peso. 

4i Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 85, says that the exaction of one-third 
of special emoluments was discontinued on January 1, 1649. 

A Royal Commission on Appointments 335 

dinates in the tobacco revenue except the director and the ac- 
countant, those who served without pay, those who served in the 
powder revenue, those who collected revenues for the Huehuetoca 
drainage canal, those whose salaries were under three hundred 
pesos, the clerks of the secretariat of the viceroy, and the subor- 
dinates of the postal and lottery revenues. 42 

In the beginning this rent was in charge of the tribunal de 
cuentas. Later it was given its own accounting house and staff ; 
the latter enjoyed such independence that even the viceroys were 
forbidden to take cognizance of its business. By the ordinance 
of the intendants, the half annats were collected under the 
supervision of those officers, who had also jurisdictional powers 
over it. 43 

From 1625 to 1790 half annats yielded 7,555,781 pesos. In 
the quinquennium 1785-89 they produced 297,650 pesos, with 
22,770 pesos expense for collectitm, leaving a balance of 274,880 
pesos, or 54,976 pesos net annual income. In 1788-92 the annual 
profit was 52,298 pesos. 44 

The first sensible voice of authority in New Spain raised 
against the ridiculous levy of half annats was that of Revilla- 
gigedo the younger, who suggested, as late as 1794, that the 
more rational plan would have been to decrease the salaries of 
those who paid the tax by the amount of their contribution ; by 
so doing a vast amount of bookkeeping would have been obvi- 
ated, and the actual net revenue would have been much greater. 
Officers themselves would have been relieved of a grievous burden 
which seriously hampered their efficiency, as it fell upon them 
chiefly at times when they were under the extraordinary expense* 
of moving from one post to another. 45 

42 Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 88. 

43 Revillagigedo, arts. 1261-69. 

44 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, p. xv, II, 487-588; Galvez, Informe General, 
128; Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 90. 

4 5 Instruction Beservada, arts. 1271-73. 

336 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

./ 8. The lanzas. — The thirteenth revenue, the lanzas, was de- 
rived from payments for titles of Castile, that is, of nobility. 
Recipients of these distinctions were originally required to 
pay for them by furnishing twenty lancers (hence the name) 
to the king. The actual equipment of armed retainers was dis- 
continued by law in 1632 when a payment of four hundred and 
fifty pesos was substituted for the lancers and made the price of 
the titles. The lanzas was due from a considerable number of 
persons in New Spain who had suffered depletion of fortune 
since the days in which their fathers had received their titles, 
yet the contribution was collected from them as rigorously as 
their impoverishment would permit. Those who were solvent 
were obliged to pay in full. 

When Gralvez was in New Spain the lanzas and half annats 
were under the jurisdiction of a special accountant, who at the 
time was the superintendent of the mint. The funds derived 
from both imposts were taken care of in a special accounting 
house, under rules of collection and accounting distinct from 
those of other revenues. The sole recommendation of the visitor 
in regard to these two sources of income was that the alcaldes 
mayores should be relieved of the half annat, inasmuch as many 
years had elapsed since they had received the salaries which 
were designated at the time of the creation of the offices, though 
they were still required to pay annats. This recommendation 
was followed before Galvez left New Spain. The administration 
of the chief accountant, Villavicencia, received the visitor's com- 
mendation, and he had no criticism to offer. 

* There were in the viceroy alty in 1789 fifty-nine titles of 
Castile, not more than fourteen of which were paying their reg- 
ular contribution. A number of others were undergoing liti- 
gation of one kind or another. Several of them were free from 
the half annat, others were free from the lanzas, while still others 
were exempt from both. 

Butchers' Licenses 337 

The ordinance of the intendants placed the administration 
of this revenue in the hands of the treasury officials. 

Revillagigedo states that the annual lanza was 351 pesos for 
those who had received their titles later than 1631. Those titles 
of anterior date paid 212 pesos and a fraction. The revenue 
from this source was then tending to decrease, because an initial 
payment of ten thousand pesos was accepted in lieu of the annual 
contribution. As titles of Castile were usually conceded only to 
persons of fortune, the initial payment was not hard to make. 46 

The revenue from lanzas from 1766 to 1770 was 10,205 pesos 
annually. In the quinquennium 1785-89 it was 19,053 pesos. 
The increase was due to collections of arrears. In 1789-92 the 
income was 14,526 pesos; Revillagigedo mentions 13,660 pesos 
as the annual revenue. 47 

1 9. Licencias. — Licenses to slaughter cattle, paid on each hun- 
dred animals butchered, yielded the king 504 pesos annually, 
"and as its collection is in charge of the treasury officials, 
it suffers no discount whatever." 48 These licenses were col- 
lected without legal authority, the practice being based, by the 
last quarter of the eighteenth century, on long established cus- 
tom, and not on formal legislation. Prior to the establishment 
of the intendancies, fees for butcher licenses were collected by 
the alcaldes may ores. It was freely charged that these officers 
were oppressive in collecting them. During the early period 
proceeds of the licenses were applied to the cost of erecting the 
palace at Mexico. Under the intendants, the money was paid 
into the general fund of real hacienda. Other licenses were 
« from time to time exacted, from tanneries, public baths, inns, 
water-supplies, mills, looms, etc. A futile attempt was made in 
1781 to make this revenue yield a larger income. In the quin- 

ce Instruction Eeservada, arts. 1274-5. 

47 Fonseca and Urrutia, IV, 221-249; Galvez, Informe General, 12£ 
Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 93. 

48 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, p. xvi. 

338 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Galvez 

quennium 1786-90 the income was only 683 pesos, and in 1792 
it was found that it cost more, under administration by army 
officers, to collect the revenue than it produced. 49 

10. Sales of crown lands. — The revenue from sales of crown 

j lands and from grant of titles thereto (composition de tierras) 

yielded 1523 pesos net annually during the quinquennium 1785- 

89. For the quinquennium beginning in 1786 the revenue was 

2533 pesos, but from 1788 to 1792 it was only 1223 pesos. 

The Spanish theory, since the days of the conquest, was that 
the original title to the land in the colonies was held by the 
crown, and was not a national possession. 50 Individuals holding 
land without special grant from the king or his authorized min- 
isters could have their titles thereto perfected only by compo- 
sition. The viceroy Velasco in 1591 was given power to con- 
firm titles to land held by any one, provided due reservation was 
made for mineral lands (which belonged to the king), public 
lands of settlements, and the agricultural lands of Indians. 
Prior possession of land for a period of ten years was required 
before composition could be effected. In 1735 it was ordered 
that purchasers should have recourse to the king himself for 
confirmation of their titles, but the expense attendant upon this 
method made it necessary to give the business into the hands of 
the audiencias, and, latterly, to the junta superior? 1 

Galvez, at the time of his visitation, considered this revenue 
so insignificant that it hardly merited inclusion in the accounts 
of the treasury ; yet the public welfare demanded that the royal 
demesne should be carefully guarded from falling into mort- 
main. Perhaps Galvez was influenced at this time by the opinion 
of Campomanes, whose Tratado de la Regalia de Amortisation 
had been published as recently as 1765. The spirit of opposition 

49 Fonseca and Urrutia, IV, 254-318; Kevillagigedo, arts. 1302-3. 
so Cf. Leroy-Beaulieu, Be la Colonisation chez les Peuples Modernes, 24; 
Scelle, La Traite Negriere, T, 14; Becopilacion, ley 1, tit. 1, lib. 3. 
si Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 75. 

Grocery Licenses in Mexico City 339 

to the absorption of real property by the church which animated 
the ministers of Charles III in Spain would necessarily be echoed 
by their representative in America. When the ordinance of the 
intendants was promulgated care of the public lands was given 
to the intendants, but the provisions of the ordinance were not 
obeyed in this respect, as in many others, and the royal holdings 
continued to be administered by the audiencias and the junta 
superior. 52 

I 11. The tax on retail grocers. — Grocery licenses of thirty or 
forty pesos per annum on the retail trade in Mexico City con- 
stituted the royal rent known as pulperias. It yielded 68,185 
pesos annually between 1785 and 1789. In the quinquennium 
1786-90 the revenue had grown to 84,318 pesos. Revillagigedo 
mentions 105,600 pesos as the revenue received during his time. 
The laws exacting these licenses date back to 1623, but no col- 
lections were made under them prior to 1730. Indeed, the elder 
Revillagigedo in 1750 drew up ordinances governing the retail 
shops of the capital, their location, mode of traffic, closing hours, 
credit system, etc., without imposing any tax upon them. In 
1776 and 1779 Galvez wrote to the viceroy, urging compliance 
with the laws which required collection of grocery licenses. 
"When this was attempted all the legal recourses open to the 
retailers were resorted to in opposition ; Mayorga and Matias de 

52 Revillagigedo, art. 1280; Galvez, Informe General, 130; Eeal Orde- 
nanza . . . para Intendentes (Madrid, 1786), art. 81; Fonseca and Urrutia, 
IV, 398-428. It is beyond the scope of this book to attempt more than a 
passing notice of the agrarian question in Mexico. The holdings of the 
religious corporations have long been a subject of bitter discussion and 
political feeling. The expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767 was in great meas- 
ure due to their large ownership of real property. After that event not 
so much land was held by ecclesiastical bodies, but they had in 1803 a 
considerable interest in the tithes and in capital laid out in small farms, 
the latter to the value of 44,500,000 pesos. The royal decree of December 
26, 1804, ordering the estates of the Mexican clergy to be sold and the 
capital belonging to ecclesiastics to be confiscated and sent to Spain 
produced no effect on the holdings of "the dead hand" of the church. 
A few powerful families also held great tracts, abandoned to herds and 
sterility (Humboldt, Political Essay, III, 100-102). 


340 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

Galvez during their terms as viceroy prosecuted the cases which 
came up, some of which were still unfinished in 1792. Small 
shops which employed less than one thousand pesos' capital were 
in 1790 exempted from payment of this tax. This measure was 
adopted because Revillagigedo found that the licenses, collected 
uniformly from all grocers regardless of their volume of busi- 
ness, worked to the injury of a number of poor mestizas who 
earned a small living from their insignificant traffic in comes- 
tibles. 53 

12. Fines from smugglers. — Fines and confiscations in pun- 
ishment of contraband trade (comisos) were imposed by virtue 
of a multitude of laws and special declarations. The seventeen 
laws of titulo 17, libro 8 of the Recopilacion are all devoted to 
regulating punishment of smuggling. They are based upon the 
principle that to allow foreigners to engage in national com- 
merce was to impoverish the realm. In 1764 the contaduria 
general of the Indies combined all legislation prior to that date 
into a set of instructions for the distribution of fines and con- 
fiscations arising from the various classes of smuggling. In 
1785 these instructions were superseded by a schedule {regla- 
mento or pauta) which provided exact procedure in all conceiv- 
able cases of detected contraband trade. This schedule was 
ordered obeyed by the eightieth article of the ordinance of the 
intendants. 54 The spirit of the Spanish law was very strict 
against smuggling, the death penalty being provided for those 
Spanish subjects who indulged in illicit trade with foreigners. 
It is doubtful whether this penalty was inflicted under eight- 
eenth-century conditions. The regulations governing procedure 
in division of the spoils in a case of conviction of smuggling 

53Fonseca and Urrutia, IV, 333-372; Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 
123-4; Eevillagigedo, arts. 1178-87. The legislation referring to this 
revenue is contained in the 'Recopilacion, ley 12, tit. 8, lib. 4; ley 82, tit. 14, 
lib. 1; ley 14, tit. 18, lib. 4. 

54 Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 38-41 ; Revillagigedo, art. 1304. 

Rules for Punishing Smuggling 341 

between Spanish subjects are shown by the following extract 

from the schedule : 

Assumed value of the goods seized 20,000 pesos 

Duties to be collected, fifteen per cent almojarifazgo, 

two per cent alcdbala antigua, four per cent al- 

cabala nueva y armada de barlovento 4,200 

Cost of suit 100 

Share of one-sixth to the trial judge 2,616 

Deducting the above expenses, a remainder is left of 

five-sixths, or 13,083 

Eeward of one-third of five-sixths to the informant, if 

there be any such 4,361 

Two-thirds of five-sixths to go to the royal chamber 

(of the Council of the Indies) 8,722 

Total received by the crown 12,922 

From this sample rule of procedure there were numerous 
variations, by which rules were provided for division of proceeds 
from at least seven different classes of smuggling. All were based 
on the principle of making it financially profitable for both the 
informant and the judge to secure conviction of contraband 
traders. It is hardly necessary to adduce proof that the system 
failed to eradicate smuggling. The entire collection from this 
source in the quinquennium 1785-89 amounted to only 15,120 
pesos. The expense incurred in collection of this amount was 
3295 pesos, leaving 11,825 pesos, or an annual revenue of only 
2365 pesos. Maniau gives the annual receipts from 1788 to 1790 
as 4505 pesos. As has already been indicated in a previous 
chapter, this sum represents a very small part of the contraband 
trade of New Spain. 55 
4 13. Tintes and caldos. — Export duties were collected, for the 
most part at Vera Cruz, on cochineal, indigo, and vanilla; the 
accounts were grouped together under the designation tintes. 
By royal order of August 30, 1728, a duty was levied of fifteen 
pesos on each zurron (seroon, bag) of eight arrobas (two hun- 

ss Fonseca and Urrutia, IV, 141-220; Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 43. 

342 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Galvez 

dred pounds) of cultivated cochineal (grana fina), and three 
pesos on each zurron of wild cochineal (grana silvestre) ; at the 
same time a duty of two pesos per thousand was laid on vanilla. 
In 1792 (presumably since 1767) these duties were collected at 
the time the goods entered the custom-house. In the quinquen- 
nium 1785-89 the annual revenue from these sources yielded 
41,387 pesos. By 1792 the revenue was 45.952 pesos. The indigo 
revenue was not large during the latter part of the eighteenth 
century. Humboldt estimated the annual export of cochineal 
to be worth 2,400,000 pesos. 56 

/ Caldos, the term applied to entry duties collected on wines, 
brandies, and vinegar — to which were added, during the latter 
part of the eighteenth century, revenues derived from the manu- 
facture in New Spain of spirituous liquors — produced in 1785-89 
289,060 pesos ; the cost of administering the revenue was 118,010, 
leaving 171,050 pesos for the term, or 34,210 pesos annual rev- 
enue, net. 57 

In 1711 the entry duty on wines and brandies was twenty- 
five pesos a pipe ; on vinegar twelve and one-half pesos were col- 
lected. These high duties were levied to raise funds for the 
erection of the palace at Mexico. Manufacture of brandy in 
New Spain and Peru was forbidden in 1714, in which year all 
the native product was ordered poured away, and alembics and 
other apparatus for distillation were destroyed. Some effect 
having been produced by these means, import duties on liquors 
were in 1720 lowered to twelve and one-half pesos per pipe for 
wines and brandies, and to six pesos for vinegar, ten per cent 
reduction for leakage in transit (merma) being first allowed. 
A further duty of four pesos was charged on brandy sent inland 

\ from Vera Cruz, and in Mexico a duty called the cuartilla was 
collected for the municipal funds. There was also a "new duty" 

m Political Essay, III, 64; Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 114-5; Bevilla 
gige<lo, art. 1340. 

s? Fonseca and Urrutia, I, p. xvii. 

Protection to Spanish Viticulture 343 

of two pesos per pipe at Vera Cruz. In 1753 the four-peso duty 
was ordered abolished ; the two-peso duty was reduced to one 
peso, and the alcabala on liquors was reduced from eight to six 
per cent. These reductions were made for the sake of fostering 
the industry of the vineyards of Andalusia, which was suffering 
because the high duties had destroyed demand for Andalusian 
liquors in New Spain. The viceroy, however, declined to enforce 
the cedula which ordered the above reductions, acting under his 
privilege as granted in ley 24, titulo 1, libro 2 of the Recopi- 
lacion; he presented figures to support his argument that the 
high duties were needed to produce essential revenues, his belief 
apparently being that a decrease in the duties would not ap- 
preciably increase importation. Note has been made in a pre- 
vious chapter of the fact that Galvez decreased the brandy duty 
from four to three pesos, and reduced the alcabala to four per 
cent, making each duty collectable at entry. No further changes 
occurred until, under the Reglamento of 1778, commerce was 
liberated with comparative generosity from its old restrictions. 
By 1793 the alcabala and the almojarifazgo on liquors were col- 
lected at a rate of three per cent each. The principal revenue 
from brandy was received at Campeche, where a duty of seven 
pesos a pipe was collected. The native brandy, from Nueva 
Vizcaya, paid a duty of four pesos a barrel. 58 
■» 14. The snow monopoly. — Revenues from snow, the storage 
and sale of which was a leased monopoly, first began to con- 
tribute to the funds of real hacienda in 1719, in which year a 
contract for the monopoly in Mexico was leased at public auction 
for a term of five years at an annual pension of 10,000 pesos. 

Galvez found this revenue still under leasehold, the detailed 
conditions of which he was ordered in his instructions to investi- 
gate, that he might determine whether the branch might not 
with profit be taken under administration. His recommendation 

58Fonseca and Urrutia, IV, 387; Eevillagigedo, art. 1339. 


344 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

was that it would be unsafe to try to administer the snow revenue, 
for the naively expressed reason that most of the contractors lost 
money on their agreements. 59 

Snow was supplied to the public in Vera Cruz, Puebla, 
Oaxaca, Valladolid (Morelia), Guanajuato, and Guadalajara, 
under monopoly contracts. The crown received from these con- 
tracts 632,171 pesos, or 25,287 pesos per annum during the period 
between 1765 and 1790. Two-thirds of this revenue came from 
Mexico and half of the remainder from Puebla. In 1787 the 
Mexico lease sold for 10,000 pesos per annum for a term of five 
years, the same price it had brought in 1719. The snow was 
brought from the Sierra Nevada by Indians, and sold at one real 
per pound. During the quinquennium 1785-89 the net annual 
revenue on snow for the entire viceroyalty was 28,723 pesos. 
As the amounts bid for the contracts were collected by officers 
of the treasury, there were no overhead expenses in connection 
with this revenue. 60 

15. Excise on leather. — The twenty-first revenue of this list, 
cordobanes, was collected on hides, pelts, and dressed leather. 
In the City of Mexico trade in leather was a sort of loose mo- 
nopoly leased to the highest bidder. A warehouse was estab- 
lished in the capital in 1608, where hides were brought to be 
sold to tanners, and cured leather to be sold to artisans. In the 
remainder of the viceroyalty the privilege of curing leather was 
generally granted under licenses. Revillagigedo says that leather 
production was entirely free outside of Mexico. The two systems 
jointly produced in 1785-89 a net annual revenue of 4615 pesos. 
The recommendation of Galvez concerning this and several other 
insignificant revenues was that it would be futile to try to ad- 
minister them, and that they should be continued under lease. 

59 Instruction reservada, March 14, 1765; art. XXIV, Appendix; Galvez, 
Informe General, 121. 

eo Kevillagigedo, art. 1290; Humboldt, Political Essay, I, 11; Fonseca 
and Urrutia, IV, 392-397; Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 109. 

Taxation of the National Sport 345 

The leather revenue was under lease from 1744 to 1785, when it 
was taken over by the crown, as no one bid for the privilege of 
collecting it. In 1791 the monopoly was ordered discontinued, 
and the existing pension commuted. In 1792 attempt was again 
made to secure a lessee. 61 

v 16. Cock fighting. — The predilection of the people of New 
Spain for the sport of cockfighting made it possible for the 
government to realize handsomely on this propensity. Monopo- 
lies of the sport were sold to individuals in the various centers 
of population. In 1727 the revenue became a branch of real 
hacienda under a cedula of September 27. At that date cock- 
fighting was characterized as an immemorial custom of the coun- 
try. The king had, indeed, attempted to suppress it as a public 
vice ; not succeeding, he chose the thriftier mode of dealing with 
the problem. 

The first contract granting a monopoly of the sport was made 
with the holder of the monopoly of playing-cards and sports ; 
the consideration was an increase of one thousand pesos per 
annum above the price of his existing contract, and an initial 
deposit of 120,000 reals for a five-year concession. The cock- 
fights were limited to afternoons after 1 o'clock; minors and 
slaves were debarred from attendance, and the King's ministers 
were to preside, their chief function being to prevent extravagant 
bets by their presence. 

For a part of 1785-86 the revenue was under administration ; 
so again it was in 1791. Usually, however, the contract system 
prevailed. The recommendation of Galvez was that contracts 
should continue to be granted under leases, but the intendants 
were given charge of the revenue under the ordinance of 1786. 

si Galvez, Informe General, 131; Fonseca and Urrutia, IV, 319-331; 
Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 77-80. In 1802 the value of the hides cured 
in the intendancy of Guadalajara alone was estimated at 419,000 pesos; 
a very small proportion of the product was exported (Humboldt, Political 
Essay, III, 49). 

346 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

Leases for ten-year periods often yielded large sums. One 
such lease produced 111,000 pesos, and another 215,000 pesos. 
One lease in 1746 produced only 21,100 pesos. From 1727 to 
1790 the entire revenue from cockfighting was 1,473,928 pesos. 
In 1788-92 the net product was 45,201 pesos. 02 
/ 17. The powder monopoly. — Manufacture of gunpowder was 
reserved to the crown as a prescriptive right. It was an admin- 
istered monopoly only after October, 1766, when Galvez, fol- 
lowing his instructions, put the branch under an administrator 
who took charge of the powder factory at Mexico. 

The date of the earliest manufacture of gunpowder in New 
Spain is not known. In 1571 it was prohibited to make it except 
with permission of governors or corregidores. 63 By 1600 the 
royal factory in Chapultepec forest had been constructed and 
was under the control of the treasury officials. The right of 
production was leased, in the earlier years, in return for small 
quantities of powder. Upon the arrival of Galvez, the last con- 
tract was yielding 111,800 pesos annually. In 1767, when this 
contract expired, the ordinance as drawn by the visitor for 
administration of the revenue throughout the viceroyalty was 
put into effect. Beside the Chapultepec factory, there were one 
hundred and twelve other places where powder was made. All 
these w^ere put under the supervision of a director-general, an 
accountant, and a treasurer. The result of the new organization 
was that about 35,000 pesos more revenue was obtained, the gov- 
ernment was provided with better powder, and the mining in- 
dustry was at the same time benefited by a reduction of two 
reals in the price per pound. The former price had been eight 

62 Fonseca and Urrutia, III, 5-23; Galvez, In forme General, 131; Orde- 
nanza para . . . Intendentes, art. 222; Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 113; 
Kevillagigedo, arts. 1281-4. 

68 Herrera, Historia General, decada 2, libro 3, cap. 1, and Prescott, 
The Conquest of Mexico (London, 1911), I, 326, note, state that the soldiers 
of Cortes made gunpowder in 1521 from sulphur which they got from the 
crater of Popocatepetl; Humboldt, Political Essay, III, 472-77, questions 
the veracity of the story. 

Indirect Revenue from Mining 347 

reals. Even at the reduced rate, the treasury made a profit of 
two hundred per cent. 

An insuperable difficulty in the way of the monopoly was 
that there existed a great many illicit factories. New Spain was 
particularly favored with such a wide distribution of saltpetre 
and sulphur beds that it was almost impossible to prevent private 
manufacture, especially in the mining regions, where the explo- 
sive was much used. Contraband trade at Vera Cruz also throve 
on imported powder. Galvez repeatedly recommended that these 
sources of competition with the monopoly should be checked and 
controlled by additions to the armed guards already attached 
to the tobacco, playing-card, and alcabala revenue. The guards 
produced some effect, judging from the increased revenues. The 
ordinance which Galvez framed for the control of the industry 
was still in operation in the last decade of the century, and must 
be credited with contributing to the success of the monopoly. 
Yet Humboldt wrote that the contraband manufacture and im- 
portation of powder was so nourishing in his day that it would 
have been better for the government to have removed all re- 
strictions and let this article of commerce go free, as the expense 
of protecting the royal interests was so great and the restrictions 
upon mining were so onerous. 64 

From 1765 to 1771 the annual gross receipts from gunpowder 
revenues were 190,204 pesos ; from 1772 to 1778 they were 326,000 
pesos; from 1785 to 1789 the sales produced at least 446,394 
pesos (another statement says 451,909 pesos). For the quin- 
quennium 1785-89 the net return was 160,668 pesos per annum. 
From 1788 to 1792 the annual proceeds were 144,636 pesos. 65 

18. The royal lottery. — One entirely new revenue is to be 

64 Political Essay, III, 469-71; the amount manufactured by the govern- 
ment was only one-fourth of the amount consumed. 

65 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, pp. xvii, II, 231-2; the entire discussion of 
the powder revenue occupies II, 189-294. See also Galvez, Informe 
General, 114-117, Eevillagigedo, arts. 1006-1031, and Maniau, Compendio, 
%a parte, 60. 

348 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

credited to the Croix-Galvez regime, the lottery. The royal order 
establishing it was dated December 20, 1769. The preliminaries 
of the new revenue producer were arranged by Croix while 
Galvez was absent upon his northern expedition, and it was to his 
idea that a lottery in imitation of the Flemish one would earn 
money from a hitherto untouched source that the establishment 
was due. 66 By a proclamation of August 7, 1770, and by a later 
manifiesto of September 19, Croix announced the organization 
of the lottery. Invitations were advertised to fifty thousand 
persons to pay into a common fund twenty pesos each, thereby 
raising 1,000,000 pesos. From this amount were to be taken 
847,000 pesos to be divided into 50,000 prizes of various denomi- 
nations, to be raffled among the subscribers. The funds of the 
treasury were obligated as security for the success of the enter- 
prise. The remainder was to go to the crown as fourteen per 
cent revenue, from which the operating expenses were to be paid. 
The first drawing was held May 14, 1771. It was planned that 
drawings should be held every three months, of 1,000,000 pesos 
each, so that, out of the annual sales of tickets, the gross crown 
income would be 560,000 pesos. Fixed expenses were about 
20,000 pesos, beside one per cent to collectors, a variable sum. 
The price of tickets was later reduced to four pesos. Two 
per cent was added to the crown share in 1781, to provide a fund 
for a general hospital for the poor. 

66 In 1763, by decree of September 30, Charles III established at Madrid 
a lottery for procuring funds with which to support hospitals and other 
charitable institutions. Similar lotteries were then in operation at Borne 
and numerous other European capitals. The operation of foreign lotteries 
within the boundaries of Spain was prohibited in 1774. In spite of many 
Spanish laws, dating back some of them to 1387, which recognize the anti- 
economic character of games of chance and prohibit them as such, the 
lottery idea as well as other forms of gambling have been popular from 
time immemorial, and lotteries have played an important part in the 
Spanish fiscal system. The lottery is one of the large revenue producers 
of Spain today. In the Federal District of Mexico, playing of lotteries 
was prohibited by Jose Maria Tornel by decree of November 26, 1833 
(Rodriguez de San Miguel, Pandectas Hispano-Megicanas, I, No. 1562, III, 
No. 5106). 

The Tax on Rural Wealth 349 

At its inception the lottery was under the supervision of a 
judge conservator who was an oidor of the audiencia. Under 
the ordinance of the intendants, supervision of the lottery was 
given to the intendant of Mexico. 

During the quinquennium 1785-89 the government of New 
Spain received from the lottery 640,480 pesos. Of this amount 
438,545 pesos were deposited in the treasury as profit, the annual 
revenue being 87,709 pesos. For the period from 1788 to 1792 
the gross revenue was 123,371 pesos; the expenses of operation 
were 69,953 pesos, and the net return was 53,418 pesos annually. 07 
1 19. The tithe. — The collection of the tithe (diezmo) was con- 
ceded to Ferdinand and Isabella upon their petition by Pope 
Alexander in a brief of December 16, 1501. The entire tithe 
belonged at first to the crown. It was to be expended on the 
building of churches, livings of ecclesiastics, and other religious 
expenses. By royal cedula of October 22, 1523, collection of 
tithes was made a function of the officers of the principal de- 
positories of the treasury {cajas matrices) of New Spain. When 
Juan de Zumarraga was made bishop of Mexico, collection of the 
tithes was turned over to him. Soon after, the bishops of Tlascala, 
Oaxaca, and Michoacan were granted four per cent of the tithes 
of their districts up to the sum of 500,000 maravedis ; if there 
was a deficiency in this amount, it was to be made up from 
the funds of the royal treasury. 68 

Tithes were collected on all grains, vegetables, flocks and 
herds, poultry, milk, cheese, butter, wool, fruits, honey, wax, silk, 
cotton, hemp, etc. The producers were obliged to carry their 
tithes to the place of payment. The contribution was levied on 
the gross production, before any costs had been deducted, and 
even on articles intended for home consumption only. This im- 
position was grievous for the two facts just mentioned, as well 

67 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, p. xviii, II, 119-188; Revillagigedo, arts. 
1198-1215; Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 137. 

68 Becopilacion, tit. 16, lib. 1. 

5 '<* 

350 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Galvez 

as on account of the high percentage of the tax. The colonists 
of the island of Espaiiola made ineffectual protest against the 
tithe in 1518, requesting that the rate be made one-thirtieth. A 
slight reduction in the tithe on sugar was conceded to the island 
in 1539. 69 

It was the duty of the encomenderos to see that the tithes were 
collected from their wards, and on raw products only. They 
were also to prevent payment more than one time on any specific 
article. During the early years of the conquest the Indians 
were free from the payment of tithes on products for their own 
use, the contribution being exacted on what they produced for 
the encomenderos. At first the tithes were not equal to the ex- 
penses which they were expected to meet, and the deficit was 
made up to the clergy from real hacienda. But after the pas- 
tures of New Spain were covered with flocks and herds, and the 
tithes had become a real revenue, they were relinquished by the 
crown in favor of the church, two-ninths (dos novenos) only 
being reserved of one-half of the gross income, and three-ninths 
being set apart for hospitals and churches. The remainder was 
devoted to church livings. 

The unwisdom of this relinquishment was made manifest 
when in later days it became necessary to levy assessments under 
other designations upon ecclesiastical bodies and officers to raise 
needed revenues for the state. Such taxes as the half annats, 
the espolios (the tax on the property which a prelate left at 
V death), the subsidies (aids), and the excusado (a tax on the 
clergy originally levied to provide funds for wars against infi- 
dels) would have been unnecessary if the original tithe had been 
retained by the crown; furthermore, a vast amount of clerical 
work and administrative confusion would have been avoided if 
the one tax had existed instead of many. 70 

69 Saco, Eistoria de la Esclavitud, I, 127. 
to Eevillagigedo, arts. 1238, 1243. 

Administration of Tithes 351 

Notwithstanding that the tithe was a heavy contribution, 
upon which the church waxed rich, it was too frequently difficult 
for the treasury to obtain its proper share, for the collection was 
leased to clericals on low bids, and no one else cared to try 
to take it away from them by bidding lower, lest the wrath of 
the church be invoked upon him. When Galvez came to New 
Spain he was instructed to find out what the income of the church 
was, and whether the state share of the tithes might not be in- 
creased by taking the revenue under administration, for the 
novenos were not producing income in proportion to noticeable 
increase in the tithes. 71 

The plan adopted was to take over the collection as fast as 
the contracts of the several bishoprics expired. The first of these 
was that of the bishopric of Valladolid; the change in system 
brought about increase of revenue from 15,800 pesos to about 
24,000 pesos per annum by 1771. 

Arriaga, Minister of the Indies, issued his order for the ad- 
ministration of this branch of real hacienda on May 6, 1768. 
The viceroy decreed the observance of the order on April 10, 
1769, naming the administrator of the rent. In November of 
1768 the tribunal de cuentas was instructed to draw up a plan 
for the administration of the novenos. This plan, with the opin- 
ion of Galvez, was turned over to Bucarely in 1771, with the 
expectation that the system would be completely changed at the 
beginning of 1772. It was not until 1774, however (by royal 
cedula of October 19), that the collection of tithes in America 
and the Philippines was taken from the churches, and the faculty 
of nominating collectors of revenue reserved to the crown. This 
cedula was recorded as being obeyed in the territory of the 
audiencia of Guadalajara on February 15, 1775. 72 It was not 
for a decade, however, that the government found itself in com- 
plete control of collection of the novenos throughout the vice- 

7i Instruction reservada, March 14, 1765; art. XXI, Appendix. 

72 Kodriguez de San Miguel, Pandectas Hisyano-Megicanas , III, No. 5346. 

352 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

royalty. Under the ordinance of the intendants, care of the 
novenos was to be confided to a number of juntas to be created 
in the chief cities. These juntas were to name administrators 
of the revenue and to have general control of the branch. The 
juntas had not been organized as late as 1794, owing to the re- 
sistance of the religious cabildos. Revillagigedo found the same 
obstinacy prevalent among the ecclesiastics that Galvez com- 
plained of in matters pertaining to the revenues of the church. 73 

In 1771 real hacienda received 98,841 pesos from novenos; 
during the next twenty years the receipts never fell below 
103,120 pesos, which was the amount collected in 1774 ; the high- 
est receipt was 218,302 pesos, that of 1788. From 1771 to 1780 
the total collection was 1,231,401 pesos; for the period between 
1781 and 1790 it was 1,662,763 pesos. During the quinquennium 
1788-1792 the annual revenue was 157,919 pesos. 74 

The tithe, bearing as it did particularly upon agricultural 
products, furnishes the best clue to the state of rural prosperity 
in the viceroyalty. Unfortunately, we have scant data for form- 
ing opinion on this point at any date in the history of the coun- 
try. No computation was made until that by Maniau, who in 
the last decade of the eighteenth century estimated the agricul- 
tural production at 24,000,000 pesos. This estimate, it will be 
recalled, was after "free commerce" had given impetus to agri- 
culture by driving the older merchants into rural pursuits. A 
later computation, taking into consideration products which paid 
no tithe, raised the figure to 29,000,000 pesos. That figure was 
presented in 1803 to the Spanish court by Humboldt. A second 
estimate was made by the consulado of Vera Cruz in 1817, when 
Quiroz, the secretary of that body, estimated the rural produc- 
tion at 138,859,121 pesos ; plainly, the basis of computation must 

73 Kevillagigedo, art. 1230. 

7*Fonseca and Urrutia, I, pp. xix, III, 136-262; Maniau, Compendio, 
2a parte, 3; Galvez, Informe general, 122-4; Beal Ordenanza para . . . 
hitendentes, arts. 168-174. 

The Tax on Business Transactions 353 

have been different from that used by Maniau, as the increase 
could hardly be normal. Lerdo de Tejada in 1856 offered an 
estimate of 270,000,000 pesos, which is even more astonishing 
upon comparison with the increase in population, which at the 
time of the incomplete census of Revillagigedo (1794) was 5,200,- 
000 souls, and had increased by 1856 to only 7,859,574. 75 

20. The alcabala, — This was the revenue which bore heaviest 
upon the people, and it was consequently the most detested of 
all the long list of taxes. Next to the tobacco monopoly, it was 
the largest revenue producer. It was a tax levied upon all man- 
ner of effects and real estate sold. The payment of the alcabala 
was a legal essential of the process of sale. This tax originated 
in Spain as a voluntary concession by the vassals of Alonzo XI 
in 1342 ; it was made a perpetual part of the royal patrimony 
in 1349. Originally it was levied at the rate of one-thirtieth of 
the value of the goods sold ; increased to one-twentieth and later 
to one-tenth, it remained at the latter figure for centuries. In 
exigencies, as of war, it was frequently raised by a third. 

The first alcabala in America, initiated by royal cedula in 
1571 and by proclamation of the viceroy Enriquez on November 
1, 1574, was only two. per cent, as a concession to the struggling 
civilization of the pioneers. Indians, churches, and ecclesiastics 
were exempt from it on sales not made in the regular channels of 
trade. On goods liable the tax was collected on successive sales 
until the extinction of the goods sold. 

At the beginning this rent was collected by a special account- 
ant (contactor) , the officials of the Mexico treasury being already 
overworked. After January 1, 1575, the alcabala was collected 
in various districts by collectors {receptor es) . The funds were 
deposited in the treasury at Mexico, passing at once from the 
control of the accountant, who was merely to supervise collection, 

75 Tomas Moran y Crivelli, Juicio Critico sobre el Sistema de Hacienda en 
Mexico segun la Teoria Fra?icesa (Mexico, 1865). Civil obligation to pay 
tithes was abolished in Mexico in 1833 (Rodriguez de San Miguel, Pan- 
dectas Hispano-Megicanas, p. 180). 

354 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

and never retain the funds. The caja real of Mexico received 
crown money from adjacent territory, being the earliest deposi- 
tory founded, but by 1600 the subtreasuries of Nueva Vizcaya 
(at Durango), Nueva Galicia (at Guadalajara), Vera Cruz, and 
Yucatan (at Merida) had also been established, and shared in 
reception of revenues, with limits of territory vaguely denned 
between themselves and the central depository at Mexico. In 
that year there were in the viceroyalty 136 alcaldias may ores, 
which were the local administrative units for the collection of 
the alcabala. Later, the provinces, and the intendancies, were 
divided into alcabalatorios, that is, alcabala districts. Goods 
passing from one of these districts to another were obliged to 
pay a new alcabala upon the transfer. 76 

From the original two per cent in New Spain the alcabala 
was in 1632 raised to four per cent under the designation of 
union de armas of New Spain and Castile. In 1635 two per cent 
more was added for the formation and maintenance of the coast- 
guard revenue fleet {armada de barlovento) ; at the same time 
it was provided that an increase of one-third should be made in 
time of war if necessary. This increase was often exacted and 
usually long continued after peace had ensued. In certain fron- 
tier provinces the alcabala, on account of the unsettled conditions 
due to Indian hostilities, and because of the high cost of trans- 
portation of goods from the capital was only collected at two 
per cent, or sometimes even less. Revillagigedo recommended 
that this tax should be scaled down one per cent for each one 
hundred leagues distance from the port of Vera Cruz. 77 

At the time of the Galvez visitation supervision of the alca- 
bala was in charge of a general accountant for the entire vice- 
royalty except Mexico, Vera Cruz, and their adjacent districts. 
In these two cities the accounts of the alcabala were kept by the 

76 Fonseca and Urrutia, IT, 5-9; Becopilacion, ley 14, tit. 13, lib. 8 
Kevillagigedo, arts. 1057, 1060. 

77 Instruction Reservada, art. 1043. 

Lease of the Alcabala to Towns 355 

municipal officers instead of by crown officers. Collection was 
leased by villas and partidos (towns and districts). The visi- 
tor's instructions required him to examine the method of assess- 
ing this contribution, and the form of the leases ; he was also to 
determine what could be done to increase the revenue. When 
he went for the second time from Vera Cruz to Mexico, in Jan- 
uary, 1766, he began to collect data concerning the alcabala at 
once. He was moved to do this both on account of the import- 
ance of this revenue and because it had been ordered as far back 
as February 6, 1764, that this duty should be administered by 
treasury officials as soon as the existing contracts for leases 
should expire. Galvez found that the transition to the system of 
administration was already under way, but that it was not ap- 
parent that increase of income was resulting. He ascertained also 
that complaint was general against both systems ; for these 
reasons he deemed it best that the rent should be put under the 
mode of operation called encabezamiento, that is, leased by villas 
and partidos, as has been already said. His proposal, dated 
November 10, 1766, was approved by the King on March 3, 1767. 
The lease by encabezamiento was not long continued, as the suc- 
ceeding viceroy, Bucarely, put the alcabala under administration. 
This action by Bucarely was warmly resented by the com- 
mercial classes, if credit is to be given to the statement of Villa- 
roel. The point of complaint was that the encabezamientos were 
annulled before the expiration of the five-year period for which 
they had been made. The effect was to produce uneasiness among 
business men as to the permanency and good faith of any gov- 
ernment contract. It was also objected that, under administra- 
tion, a number of collectors of the revenue were appointed who 
received fourteen per cent of their gross receipts for the work — 
the burden of this added expense of collection was felt to be a 
needless one. 78 

78 Justa repulsa del reglamento de intendencias, MS, pt. 6, pp. 20-22. 

356 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

The alcabala was a tax commonly evaded if possible. A fa- 
vorite way of doing this was to sell on commission or under 
pretense of so doing, to avoid duty on resales. Customs officials 
were habitually compromised in aiding evasions. The struggle 
over the readjustment of the alcabala at Vera Cruz has already 
been discussed, and need not be reverted to here. For some 
large towns Galvez thought that administration would be better 
than contract with municipalities. For instance, he had in 1767 
made a contract with the commercial and mining interests of 
Guanajuato, granting them the collection of the alcabala for 
45,000 pesos a year. Subsequently a bonanza was struck in the 
mines, and the visitor was sorry for his bargain, because by it 
he had signed away the opportunity for real hacienda to par- 
ticipate in the unexpected prosperity. He advised Bucarely to 
refuse to renew the contract, even if he should be offered 70,000 
pesos for it. 

In Guadalajara encabezamiento was thought preferable, as 
Galvez had in 1771 contracted with the residents and merchants 
there granting a reduction of 3000 pesos in the contract consider- 
ation, but had excluded from the territory under the previous 
contract the rich mining region of Rosario. This mining region 
was in the market for machinery and provisions, upon which it 
would pay a four per cent alcabala. The guia paid in Mexico 
on goods sent to Rosario showed that 484,000 pesos' worth of 
merchandise was sent thither in 1771, indicating that a goodly 
alcabala would be collected. 79 

In 1777 the office of general accountant of the alcabala was 
abolished upon the death of the incumbent, and the books were 
thereafter kept by the officers of the custom-house of Mexico. 
At this time, too, the encabezamientos arranged by Galvez were 
expiring, and as they did so collection of the alcabala was ad- 
ministered. By 1778 all leaseholds had expired, and all custom- 
houses came under administration at the same time ; the alcabala 

70 Galvez, Informe General, 110. 

Exemptions and Readjustments 357 

was thereafter collected under schedules of evaluation fixed by 
the government, and not by appraisal of imports by the customs 
officers, as formerly. In 1793 Revillagigedo had a set of instruc- 
tions drawn for the administration of this revenue. 80 

By various royal enactments numerous exemptions from the ,/ 
alcabala were conceded. Among these were wheat and maize 
exported, produce raised by Indians, cloth exported to Spain, 
uniforms of the militia, mining and nautical instruments and 
utensils, linen from Spain, and national manufactures of esparto 
(a grass). 81 The Indians were, however, often imposed upon by 
overzealous collectors who desired to increase the amount of this 
revenue from districts where returns were normally small. 82 

From 1761 to 1765 the alcabala produced 6,060,978 pesos; 
from 1765 to 1777, it produced 19,844,053 pesos. From 1776 to 
1779 the returns were 7,950,932 pesos. From 1780 to 1789, with 
a war tax increase of two per cent, the receipts were 31,302,941 
pesos. In 1799 the alcabala amounted to only 2,407,000 pesos, 
but it increased to about three million pesos, which is the figure 
at which Revillagigedo and Humboldt both estimated it as an 
annual revenue. 83 

In 1791 the special war tax of two per cent was removed, and 
the hated marchamo initiated in New Spain by Galvez was abol- 
ished. At seaports the rate of the alcabala was at this time three 
per cent. Four per cent was collected on inland sales and six 
per cent on smuggled goods detected. On November 4, 1784, 
it was ordered that each negro imported should be valued at 
one hundred and fifty pesos, and a six per cent duty be assessed 
on that valution. 84 

so Instruction Beservada, art. 1090. 

81 Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 52. 

82 Revillagigedo, art. 1068. 

83 Revillagigedo, art. 1041; Humboldt, Political Essatj, IV, 112; Galvez, 
Informe General, 91-114, 251-2; Fonseca and Urrutia, II, 5-118; Maniau, 
Compendio, 2a parte, 54. 

84 Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 49, note. The alcabala was collected in 
the Mexican Republic under the provisions (with numerous variations) of 

358 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Galvez 

21. The pulque excise. — The right to manufacture and sell 

\A pulque, a spirituous fermented liquor from the maguey plant, was 

leased throughout the viceroyalty generally prior to 1762. In 

that year 85 the industry was placed under crown administration, 

the Instruction de alcabalas . . . y pulques written prior to 1793 (at which 
date it was given royal sanction) by Jose Mariano de Arce y Echeagaray, 
who was the chief officer of the alcabala and pulque revenues, and secre- 
tary of the junta de union de rentas y resguardos, a body organized by 
Eevillagigedo to obtain simplicity in revenue collection. The Instruction 
is printed as No. 11 of the Memoria de Hacienda, April, 1835, and in 
Eodriguez de San Miguel, Pandectas Hispano-Megicanas, II, 191-218. The 
struggle of the Mexican people to free themselves from the alcabala was 
a long and tedious one. The state of Jalisco was the first to abolish the 
impost, in 1824, under the wise governorship of Priciliano Sanchez, who 
attempted to establish a direct contribution in lieu of the alcabala. In 
October, 1846, President Mariano de Salas decreed the suppression of the 
alcabala, but, the war with the United States intervening in November, 
a new minister of hacienda, Antonio de Haro y Tamariz, ordered it re- 
established. So it continued until the presidency of Arista (1851-53). 
During that period it was ordered that merchandise should satisfy duties 
but one time, and be allowed free movement thenceforward throughout 
the republic. At the same time many of the states went a step further, 
and abolished their interior custom-houses. But when Santa Ana re- 
sumed control in April, 1853, he again re-established the odious tax. By 
the plan of Ayutla (1854), many states abolished interior custom-houses, 
and with them went the alcabala. It was again imposed by Manuel Payno 
under Ignacio Comonfort, in spite of vociferous objections from sev- 
eral state executives. Finally the constitution of 1857, article 124, con- 
tained the enactment that alcabalas and interior custom-houses should be 
abolished on and after June 1, 1858. The revolution in Tacubaya of 1857 
prevented, and the collection continued. An added burden came when, as 
a substitute for the alcabala, the federal government levied a direct con- 
tribution, but left the alcabala still to be collected in a number of the 
states. This occurred in 1861 in San Luis Potosi. Under Maximilian, 
an effort was made to replace the alcabala and the interior custom-houses 
by making the maritime customs plus a tax on lands meet the budget of 
expenses. This measure possessed the added attraction of promising to 
reduce the size of large land holdings by levying a prohibitive tax. Such 
a prospect would have doomed the measure even if Maximilian had 
survived his foolish attempt at empire. Following the restoration of 
native sovereignty, Juarez attempted to abolish the alcabala. Success to 
the effort did not come, nor again in 1875, when renewed attempts were 
made. It was not until 1896 that the system of interior duties was finally 
abandoned (A. and F. Farias, Opusculo que trata sobre la Inconveniencia de 
las Aduanas Interiores, San Luis Potosi, 1875, passim; T. Moran y Crivelli, 
Juicio Critico sobre el Sistema de Hacienda en Mexico, passim; Macedo, Tres 
Mortografias, I, La Evolution Mercantil, 119). It was abolished in Spain in 
1845 (Alcubilla, Diccionario de la Administration Espafwla, I, 338). 

ss Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 102, gives the date as February 9, 1763. 

Regulation for Revenue 359 

the revenue being doubled by this arrangement. The pulque 
business presented a difficult problem for the government to 
solve. On account of the wide cultivation of the maguey, the 
liquor was made in many places, often secretly for the sake of 
avoiding the duty. The Indians are believed to have mixed with 
the liquor lime and other deleterious ingredients, which had very 
noxious effects on consumers. It was so generally used as to be 
a staple. Very cheap, it could be purchased in large quantity — 
something like a pint for one real — by the poorest inhabitants, 
who were the most disorderly. The criminal courts were always 
clogged with cases in which pulque was responsible for the mis- 
chief. The viceroys would have gladly eradicated the evil, as 
would the clergy, but the beverage was an immemorial heritage 
of the indigines, and its use could not be prevented. 86 The 
earliest tax on pulque was one real per arrooa (twelve English 
quarts), but the rate of collection was never uniform. Small 
additions were made to it in times of exigency. In 1767 the 
rate of one real was raised by one and one-sixth grains. In 1777 
it was made one real four grains. In 1778 another grain was 
added, and in 1780 six more for war costs. Finally, in 1784 the 
rate was made two tomines one grain (a little over two reals), and 
so it continued. 

After 1767 half a grain of the duty was destined for quarters 
and uniforms of militia. One grain was devoted to the court of 
La Acordada after 1777. Two grains went to road making after 
1784, for a period of ten years. The remaining one tomin, nine 
and one-half grains, were applied to the general fund of real 
hacienda. The ordinance of the intendants required that the 
pulque revenue should be made uniform throughout the vice- 
royalty, and gave the special injunction that use of the beverage 
should be closely watched, 87 in order to guard against the scan- 


se Cf . Smith, The Viceroy of New Spain, 180. 

87 Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 101-2. The tomin was a weight of one 
scruple, and had, in silver, the value of one real. 

360 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Galvez 

dais and crimes which it occasioned. The levy was not, however, 
rendered uniform. 

The net revenue produced by pulque from 1765 to 1777 was 
5,330,393 pesos. By 1778 the branch was generally under ad- 
ministration, and the income, was 10,206,539 pesos from 1777 to 
1790. From 1785 to 1789 it was 4,080,100 pesos, or 757,914 
pesos annually. Between 1788 and 1792 it was 761,131 pesos. 
This revenue came chiefly from the cities of Mexico, Puebla, and 
Toluca. Expense of collection was about seven per cent of the 
net revenue. 88 

22. Principal export and import ditties. — The armada and 
averia (haberia) were collected on imports and exports at Vera 
Cruz and Acapulco. After 1561 a fleet was employed to protect 
Spanish merchant ships against French pirates. The expense 
of this fleet was met by a contribution for the haber (perquisite) 
collected by the consulado of Cadiz and the Casa de Contratacion. 
Into this fund was also put the royal share of one-fourth of 
the seizures made at sea by Spanish vessels. Records of pay- 
ments of the averia go back to 1700. Gold, silver, and precious 
stones belonging to the king's estate were free from it. 89 The 
averia was first levied at two-tenths per cent. During the latter 
part of the eighteenth century the rate was one per cent, and 
the armada rate the same, the two being collected together. 
Revillagigedo says that each duty was one peso, but he does not 
give the base upon which the levy was collected. 90 

When in 1753 the alcabala collection was taken from the 
consulado by the elder Revillagigedo that body paid the salaries 
of its officials and that of the provincial judge of La Acordada 
from averia receipts. 

88Fonseca and Urrutia, I, pp. xix, xx, III, 338-428; Galvez, Informe 
General, 110-114; Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 103; Humboldt, Political 
Essay, IV, 213; Revillagigedo, arts. 1096-1100. 

so Becopilacion, ley 13, tit. 9, lib. 9. 

so Instruction Beservada, art. 1335. 

The Almojarifazgo 361 

The armada and averia at Acapulco were included in the 
lump duty paid by the galleon. At Vera Cruz the averia reve- 
nue was employed in meeting expenses of careening vessels and 
of the marine hospital. The armada was applied to expenses of 
the accounting house, the warehouses, and to port salaries. 

During the term of the younger Revillagigedo these revenues 
were under administration. For the quinquennium 1785-89 the 
total revenue amounted to 54,088 pesos, this being a slight in- 
crease over the quinquennium beginning one year earlier. Ma- 
niau gives the proceeds of both revenues at 70,597 pesos, and the 
expenses they were supposed to meet at 194,378 pesos ; the deficit 
was made up from the general fund. 91 

The almojarifazgo was an export and import duty, dating in %/ 
Spain from Moorish times, when it replaced the entry duties of v * 
the Gothic kings. The rate was at first seven and one-half per j 
cent ad valorem by appraisal. The original pioneers of New Spain 
were exempted from payment of duties, but the exemption was 
removed in 1543, and the rate of the almojarifazgo was fixed at 
two and one-half per cent, the settlers being by this time thought 
to be able to bear moderate burdens of taxation. The rate was 
raised in 1566 to fifteen per cent, five per cent being paid at the 
time of export from Spain, and ten upon import into America. 
On goods passing from one American port to another, the almo- 
jarifazgo varied from two and one-half per cent to five. 92 

In 1734, by cedula of April 8, Manila merchants were per- 
mitted to bring yearly to Acapulco one cargo worth 500,000 
pesos, and to export the proceeds of their sales to the amount of 
1,000,000 pesos in cash. This was an increase over the allowance 
of 1727, when the limit of importation was 300,000 pesos, and 
that of exportation 600,000 pesos. Habitually the limits were 

9 1 Fonseca and Urrutia, IV, 516-535; Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 106; 
Scelle, I, 71-73, discusses these duties as they were paid in Spain only. 

92 M. Lerdo de Tejada, Comercio Esterior de Mexico, 13 ; Scelle, I, 70. 

362 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

greatly exceeded. 93 For the privilege of exporting the million 
pesos a duty of seventeen per cent was paid. In 1769, by cedula 
of December 18, additions were made to this rate, by which, 
under the name of the almojarifazgo, thirty-three and one-third 
per cent was paid on imports from Manila, while no exaction 
was levied upon the money exported, unless it exceeded one 
million pesos, in which case six per cent was to be paid on the 
excess. 94 

In 1779 the duty was reduced to eighteen per cent for two 
years, and 25,000 pesos' worth of additional imports, manufac- 
tures of cotton and other goods not competing with Spanish 
manufactures were permitted at the same rate, for a period of 
six years. The latter concession was still in force in 1791, but 
the rate of thirty-three and one-third per cent was re-established 
in 1781. Under these restrictions for the protection of the com- 
merce and manufacture of old Spain the galleon of 1790 produced 
179,305 pesos revenue on a cargo valued at Manila at 537,915 
pesos. Merchandise exported to Manila by the same galleon paid 
three and one-half per cent, producing 1142 pesos revenue ; goods 
sent to the Compafiia Oriental de Filipinas at two and one-half 
per cent yielded 5022 pesos. The total crown revenue from the 
galleon was thus 185,749 pesos. About 12,000 pesos more were 
received in the same year at Acapulco from a five per cent almo- 
jarifazgo on imports from Peru. 

At Vera Cruz the regular almojarifazgo was ten per cent. 
By the Reglamento of "free commerce" of 1778 it was removed 
for a period of ten years on merchandise brought from Spain; 
the duty of five per cent upon exportation from Spain was also 
removed. A three per cent duty was still collected on all goods 
sent in registry, after twelve per cent had been added to the 

93 <( On ne permettait au commerce de sortir qu'une cargaison d'un 
million de gros ecus par an, et elle etait parfois de 5 a 6" (Teodoro de 
Croix, letter, Mexico, May 29, 1767, Correspondance, 207). 

a* Fonseca and Urrutia, V, 36-50. See above, pp. 307-8. 

The Reglamento of 1778 363 

schedule of appraisal fixed by the government, and after deduct- 
ing ten per cent for leakage on liquors, or fifteen per cent on 
goods proven to have been at sea for six months. 95 Other re- 
ductions contained in the pragmatic lowered the export duty on 
silk from eighty to thirty-four maravedis per pound, and con- , / 
ceded complete freedom from the almojarifazgo, but not from 
the alcabala, on a long list of goods. Some of these were steel, 
wire, ocher, sugar, coffee, salted meats and fish, beer, chocolate, 
locks, knives, mirrors, swords, sealing-wax, bricks, earthenware, 
razors, pewter, glass, flour, vermicelli, lead, hats, shoes, and all 
kinds of hardware. Owners of Spanish-built vessels laden with 
Spanish goods for American ports named in the Reglamento 
were to enjoy a reduction of one-third of the harbor duties and 
other charges to which they were liable. Vessels two-thirds laden 
with national goods were to have a reduction of one-fifth of 
these duties. 96 The liberalization of commerce under this legis- 

95 Fonseca and Urrutia, V, 51-53; Beglamento de Comercio Libre . . . 
de 12 Octobre, 1778, Madrid, 1778. For a summary of the provisions of 
this legislation see Smith, The Viceroy of New Spain, 250-253. 

96 Fonseca and Urrutia, V, 54-55. During the forty-three years be- 
tween 1778 and the independence of 1821, numerous changes occurred in 
the scheme of collecting .duties from commerce. The benefits of the ordi- 
nance of October 12, 1778, were largely minimized by the fact that Spain 
was from 1792 to 1814 continuously at war with either England or France, 
and the need of greater revenues was insistent. To produce them, the 
almojarifazgo and averia were increased before 1811, and the almirantazgo 
was renewed in 1807, being fixed at one-tenth per cent on silver exports. 
Another local duty collected at Vera Cruz was the peage, which, for the 
purpose of building a road to Mexico, was levied at rates from a few reals 
for beasts of burden up to two pesos for coaches. A tonelada of one real 
on European vessels and half that amount on American ships was added 
in 1805 for the San Juan de Ulloa lighthouse; another tax for a hospital, 
a convoy duty added in 1813, and a muralla (seawall or dock duty) on 
pack-mules were some of the lesser annoyances which were continued or 

The most conspicuous changes occurred in Spain, where the lowered 
American duties were compensated for by indirect levies which were 
really paid by the American consumers of imports. These consisted prin- 
cipally of duties on foreign goods, amounting to thirty-six and one-half 
per cent, which, added to the colonial duties, brought the total imposts on 
goods consumed in Mexico up to seventy-five per cent (Lerdo de Tejada, 
Comercio Esterior de Mexico, 21-23). 


364 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

lation was one of the two crowning acts of the ministry of Galvez 
for the Indies, the other being, of course, the ordinance of the 

The tables shown below, of the products of the almojarifazgo 
in the ports of Acapulco and Vera Cruz, summarize the methods 
of collection in force after the concessions to commerce by the 
legislation of 1778. 


Per cent in pesos Goods upon which collection was made 

5 147,362 on goods from American ports, levied by appraisal at 

current prices (ley 13, tit. 15, lib. 8, Eecopilacion) 
on registered goods, or by ley 10 if unregistered. 

2!/2 17,782 on goods to other American ports, registered or not, 

according to the above-mentioned legislation. 

3 559,277 on imports from Spain, under the regulations of the 

above-mentioned legislation. 

7 2,457,152 on foreign goods, under the same legislation. 

15 1,671 on surplus provisions taken at Havana by mail ships 

and allowed entry at Vera Cruz up to th« value 
of 1,000 pesos, in spite of absolute prohibition of 
European goods imported at Vera Cruz from other 
American ports. 
20 1,948 origin not specified. 

3,185,142 Total. 

The two noticeable features of the above table are the large 
proportion of imports from foreign countries, which was the 
great weakness of the Spanish commercial system, and the 
absence of any export almojarifazgo on goods sent to Spain. 

The Acapulco custom-house collected funds credited to the 
almojarifazgo between 1786 and 1790 at the following rates and 
amounts : 

Development of Saline Deposits 365 

Per cent in pesos Goods upon which collection was made 

2% 21,754 on goods shipped to the Compafiia Oriental de Filipinas. 

3y 2 2,800 on goods shipped to other merchants of Manila. 

5 53 on imports from Peru. 

6 45,922 on the goods above 500,000 pesos allowance from the 


16% 2,343 on goods whose origin is not specified. 

18 10,560 on Philippine imports while the rate was lowered. 

33% 577,100 on the regular galleon cargo from Manila, at the legal 


660,332 Total. 

Both tables compiled from Fonseca and Urrutia, V, 59. 

The total net almirmitazgo for the quinquinneum 1785-89 
was 3,002,895 pesos, or 600,579 per annum. Maniau 97 computes 
the revenue for 1788-92 at 599,499 pesos. Humboldt estimated 
it 98 at half a million pesos. 
V 23. The salt excise. — Refinement and sale of salt produced a 
revenue in New Spain after 1580 ; viceroy al regulations of that 
year constitute the earliest mention of government interest in 
saline deposits as a source of state income. The salt was found in 
central New Spain. The deposits of Santa Maria del Peiiol 
Blanco in Zacatecas were the most important ones in the viceroy - 
alty from the first, while the mines of Zapotillo were nearly as 
well known. In 1648 the King complained that they were not 
producing enough revenue under the leases then in force, under 
the terms of which the crown received its dues in kind. The 
contract system continued until 1778, that being the method 
used by Galvez for the salt revenue while he was visitor. At 
the time of the adoption of free commerce, the salt revenues 
were taken under administration. Salt works were by that time 
quite common throughout the valley of Mexico and on the 

97 Compendio, 2a parte, 20. 

as Political Essay, IV, 214; cf. Bevillagigedo, arts. 1330-32. 

366 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Galvez 

coasts. During the period of the Galvez visitation the produc- 
tion was approximately 37,500 tons." 

As the Indians were not liable for the alcabala on the pro- 
ducts of their labor, they were assessed for small licenses on salt 
works. These licenses produced only about 250 pesos per annum. 

Galvez leased the Pefiol Blanco salinas in 1766 to operators 
who paid 19,330 pesos annually for five years; in the following 
quinquennium, the price of the contract was, through the visitor's 
influence, raised to 35,000 pesos. In Panuco and Campeche the 
contracts produced 2200 pesos annually. The Nueva Galicia 
salt works Galvez found in rather a low condition. Those at 
San Bias, Acaponeta, Chametla, and a few others, brought the 
total crown revenue up to 24,443 pesos for the quinquennium 

The visitor placed the salt works at Zapotillo and Sentipac 
under administration, for the benefit of the drydock and new 
settlement which he founded at San Bias. At the same time he 
reduced the sale price of the commodity. The purchase price 
paid by the government under administration was six reals per 
carga; it was sold at a gain of four reals per hundredweight. 
The salt works of Sonora, Sinaloa, and Lower California were 
placed under the same regulations for their administration, 
Galvez having found the basis for his plan in operation in the 
latter territory under the Jesuits, as it was in Culiacan. 

On the Gulf coast a monopoly of the salt industry was 
regulated under leases, to prevent excessive prices. Campeche 
salt was sold in Tampico and Panuco at twelve pesos per fanega 
(hundredweight) when commerce was unrestrained. By Galvez' 
regulation a monopoly price was fixed at six pesos ; the improve- 
ment in the salt market caused by the new price led Galvez to 

99 Fonseca and Urrutia, IV, 6-13; Galvez, Informe General, 79; the 
Becopilacion, ley 13, tit. 23, lib. 8 (1609), ordered the establishment of the 
salt monopoly wherever that arrangement would not conflict with the 
industry of the Indians, whose means of gaining a livelihood were not to 
be interfered with. 

Government Monopoly 367 

extend the monopoly in January, 1771, to Vera Cruz. The pro- 
duction was doubled, and the original producers obtained a 
better price for their salt. 

In 1767 salt duties were decreased in Yucatan from four to 
two reals per hundredweight, and the alcabala on salt was 
reduced from six to four percent; these reductions were relief 
measures to lessen the burdens of the people, who were suffering 
from a recent pest of grasshoppers. 

In order to prevent the salt supply from running short in 
rainy winters, Galvez set to work the administrator of the tobacco, 
playing-card, and powder monopolies of Nuevo Santander to 
develop deserted salt works in that province and store the product * 
against time of need. 

The importance of a large salt supply was due to the direct 
use of this mineral in refining gold and silver. The establishment V 
of the monopoly met with some resistance from interested dealers ; 
Landazuri, true to his role as protector of the commerical classes, 
characterized the measures of Galvez as harsh innovations without 
excuse. Nevertheless, the visitor upheld the monopoly as the only 
feasible plan to adopt, and urged its continuance upon Bucarely 
because it returned a large profit and prevented undue gouging 
by vendors, an abuse against which the authority of the state 
should be invoked "in a country where commerce in staple com- 
modities is not conducted by sane rules, but by combinations 
and sharp practices for excessive gains." 100 The ordinance of 
the intendants provided that the Indians should, as formerly, 
be left in quiet possession of their small salt works ; other plants 
were normally to be put under administration, with an admin- 
istrator and deputies in charge. There still remained, after 
the enactment of the ordinance, a number of salt deposits not 

100 Galvez, Informe General, 77-85. "L'or et 1 'argent sont le seul Dieu 
et vous ne croiriez pas la millieme partie des horreurs commises en tout 
genre par des gens de tout rang" (Teodoro de Croix, letter, January 17, 
1767, Acapulco; Correspondance, 204). 

368 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

yet placed under the new system. The industry had, however, 
been brought to a greater degree of productivity, at least in 
revenue. In the quinquennium 1786-90 the annual net income 
was 91,496 pesos, or nearly three times the amount received 
before the Galvez visitation. In 1788-92 the revenue was 109,459 
pesos. During the term of Revillagigedo, it was estimated to 
be worth about 100,000 pesos annually. 101 

24. Profit and loss account. — Aprovechamientos, the name 
of the fund in which was kept the saving on goods bought for 
government use and not consumed, was considered a branch of 
real hacienda. It was of course not properly a revenue, but as 
the various savings were grouped together, and not returned to 
the accounts from which the purchase money had been originally 
drawn, they constituted rather an account of profit or savings 
than a branch. The account was created in 1784 by the conta- 
duria de Indias. To it were debited, strange to say, freights paid 
by persons who shipped goods on royal vessels. During the 
period 1785-90 the annual balance averaged 22,467 pesos. For 
1788-92 it was 29,640 pesos. Revillagigedo speaks of apro- 
vechamientos as showing a balance of 50,000 pesos. 102 

Alcances de cuentas (balances of accounts) was the name of 
a fund or account which, beginning in October, 1522, the treasury 
officials were required to keep individual record of all balances 
turned over to them by lessees of branches of real hacienda. 
The proceeds of this account were to be used to defray expenses 
of making audits (glosas) of the accounts of the treasury, but 
as the returns were habitually insufficient, the practice by 1792 
was to pay these costs from the general fund. The original 

ioi Instruction Reservada, art. 999 (see arts. 999-1005 for added de- 
tails) Fonseca and Urrutia, IV, 139; Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 67; 
salt imported at Vera Cruz from Campeehe in 1804 was valued at 37,845 
pesos (Humboldt, Political Essay, IV, 365). 

102 Instruction Reservada, arts. 1318-19; Fonseca and Urrutia, I, p. xxi; 
Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 162-3. 

Anchorage and Ballast Revenues 369 

purpose of the establishment of this account was to prevent 
leakages in the regular accounts by checking up the books of 
subordinate officials, by refusing to allow improper expense 
accounts, etc. In 1650 the proceeds of alcances de cuentas 
amounted to 7621 pesos. In the quinquennium 1785-89 the aver- 
age annual saving was 5173 pesos. For the period 1788-92 it 
was 8,332 pesos. 103 
\j 25. Harbor charges. — Duties collected from masters of vessels 
were numerous ; they were grouped under the generic term 
anclaje (anchorage). The Marques de Cruillas issued a schedule 
on July 22, 1762, in which it was provided that every merchant 
vessel which anchored in Vera Cruz should pay ten pesos six 
reals as a harbor fee. 104 The proceeds were used to pay for harbor 
lights, for the privilege of careening on the drydocks, and for 
inspections. The net annual product from this revenue during 
the period 1785-89 amounted to 14,538 pesos. For the quin- 
quennium 1788-92 the annual receipts were 1,053 pesos. This 
was after the dues collected from vessels had been cut to two 
pesos in accordance with the Reglamento of 1778. 105 

Lastre (ballast) was the name of the revenue derived from 
furnishing vessels outward bound from Vera Cruz with stone 
ballast. From time immemorial up to 1780, stone was bought 
on the account of the treasury at twenty reals a ton, and sold 
at four pesos a ton by the governor of Vera Cruz as a per- 
quisite of his office. In the year mentioned, the revenue was 
placed in administration under regulations framed by the viceroy 
Mayorga. In 1788, an attempt was made to obtain a bidder for 
a lease of the revenue, but no one wanted the contract. The 
revenue derived in 1785-89 was about 2,000 pesos annually; in 

103 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, p. xxi, III, 430-33; Maniau, Compendia, 
2a parte, 21-23; cf. Eevillagigedo, art. 1317. 

104 Eevillagigedo, art. 1343. 

105 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, p. xxi, IV, 685-95 ; Maniau, Compendio, 
2a parte, 125-7; Lerdo de Tejada, 15; Eevillagigedo, art. 1343. 

370 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

1788-92 the product was 2228 pesos. Revillagigedo said that it 
produced about eight hundred pesos a year. 106 
\j 26. Bienes mostrencos were chattels which, being left without 
owners, through shipwreck, estray, loss, or similar causes, were 
claimed by the state after due lapse of time and proper advertise- 
ment. The initial cedula providing for care of these chattels was 
dated November 25, 1552. In a circular order of October 21, 
1782, the viceroy of New Spain ordered that unclaimed goods 
should be sold at auction after lapse of one year. By article 
83 of the ordinance of the intendants, those officials were placed 
in charge of this revenue. In 1785-89 it yielded 352 pesos. For 
the period 1788-92 the sum realized was about 750 pesos. 
Revillagigedo speaks of the revenue as producing 450 pesos. 107 
These returns were net, as there were no expenses of collection, 
which was performed by treasury officials. 108 

27. Gifts to the king. — The last of the revenues which con- 
s tributed to the general fund and were applicable to the expenses 
of the viceroy alty was that of donativos, gifts to the crown by 
individuals or corporations. It was an irregular, but long- 
established source of income. In the New World a conspicuous 
instance of the monarch's calling upon his subjects for special 
financial help as a gift occurred in 1624, when 432,342 pesos 
were given. Philip III had suffered the loss of most of his 
shipping through war and storm at sea; the tragedy was the 
more complete because the ships had gone down with some 
16,000,000 pesos on board. He therefore called upon the viceroy 
of New Spain, Cerralvo, to address letters to the bishops, the 

106 Instruction Beservada, art. 1334; Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 138- 
40; Fonseca and Urrutia, V, 60-78; the last-named authors give in their 
table of revenues for 1785-89 gross receipts of 125,025 pesos, expenses of 
62,910 pesos, net receipts of 62,215 pesos, or 12,443 pesos annually, but 
this is evidently a mistake. 

107 Instruction Beservada, art. 1321. 

108 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, pp. xxi-xxii, III, 434-37; Maniau, Compendio, 
2a parte, 44-6; for the legislation concerning bienes mostrencos see the 
Becopilacion, ley 18, tit. 20, lib. 1; ley 9, tit. 5, lib. 5; ley 6, tit. 12, lib. 8. 

Forced and Voluntary Loans 371 

cities, and religious orders and communities, for money with 
which to build coast-guard ships. The answer was a gift of over 
1,100,000 pesos, which were finally paid in 1629. Again, when 
in 1634 the palace at Madrid was burned, 2,000,000 pesos were 
ordered raised in New Spain as a gift, for that dependency's 
pro rata share of 6,000,000 pesos for a new palace. Philip IV, 
on coming to the throne, assured his American vassals that he 
would abstain from asking forced loans and even reimbursed such 
a loan called for by Philip III a year previous to the former's 
accession. 109 In 1743, New Spain donated 199,390 pesos for 
military purposes. In 1761 Cruillas ordered all officials of the 
viceroyalty to request subscriptions from the inhabitants gener- 
ally for defense against the threatened invasion by the English, 
for the funeral ceremonies of Ferdinand VI, and for the wedding 
of the Infanta. Mexico City alone responded with about 20,000 
pesos; the final accounting in 1767 showed that the viceroyalty 
as a whole contributed approximately 74,000 pesos. Other lesser 
loans were frequently asked for. 110 

A notable forced loan was called for under the ministry of \/ 
Galvez when in 1779 the costs of the war with England were met 
in part by a contribution from all Spaniards in New Spain of 
two pesos, and one peso from all other persons. The period of 
collection extended from 1781 to 1787. The amount acknowledged 
was 887,809 pesos. During the same period the usual war-tax 
of one-third was added to the alcabala, which was derived from 
sales by all persons not Indians. The latter were assessed added 
rates on pulque. 111 

109 Coleccion de Documentos Ineditos relativos al Descubrimiento de . . . 
America y Oceania (Madrid, 1864-84), XVII, 249-52; Bancroft, History of 
Central America, II, 472. 

no Fonseea and Urrutia, I, p. xxii, IV, 429-441. 

m Fonseea and Urrutia, IV, 429-533; Eevillagigedo, arts. 1322-29; 
Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, 81-84. 

The above list is that given by Fonseea and Urrutia. Maniau makes 
the general fund imasa comun) to consist of forty-seven branches. Besides 
those already enumerated, he adds the following: 

372 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

28. The general fund and its uses. — From the imposts or 
duties described on the foregoing pages, that is, those of the 
general fund, the gross receipts in the quinquennium 1785-89 
amounted to 10,747,878 pesos for an average year. Deducting 
from this total the expenses of administration of revenues, 
purchase cost of monopolized goods, certain arbitrary charges 
placed against some of the revenues before they were called net, 
and sums destined to a few outside treasuries, the balance left 
in the general fund was 8,888,102 pesos. Of this balance, more 
that three million pesos were used for appropriations (situados) 
for the support of the other colonial possessions, Havana, Porto 

Tierras (lands), which is the generic title of the revenues derived from 
the leases of royal demesne and the censo. 

A bakery license at San Juan de Ulloa. The bakery was conducted 
by the government for the troops there. 

The alum duty, which Fonseca and Urrutia include with other minor 
metals, lead, copper, and zinc. 

The export duty on gold and silver. In 1778, the ordinance of that 
year levied two per cent on gold and five and one-half per cent on silver 
exported. The revenue was about 9000 pesos. All funds returned for 
purchase of produce were relieved of duty. 

The fortification was a duty of four pesos per quintal on wine imported. 
In 1788-92 it showed a deficit of 15,381 pesos. 

Buque (ship) was the duty collected at Campeche, identical with that 
called anclaje at Vera Cruz. It produced 300 pesos a year. 

The silk duty on imports of that article from Spain produced 270 pesos. 

The duty on miel de purga (a residual syrup from sugar manufacture), 
at twenty pesos a pipe on importations from Havana, yielded 226 pesos. 

Hospitalidades represented the saving on soldiers' wages while they 
were in hospitals. It netted 27,494 pesos for the period 1788-92. 

The servicio de entrada was collected at eight reals per piece on goods 
from ports which did not enjoy free commerce. It was first collected in 
1631 and added to the armada. It yielded 2099 pesos in 1788-92. 

The servicio de salida was, like the above duty, collected at Campeche, 
at half the above rate. It produced 1277 pesos. 

Various sea duties at Vera Cruz, to pay pilots, for launches, etc. They 
produced 1945 pesos. 

The contaduria de cuentas also listed other branches: the pearl duty, 
which produced 59 pesos in 1792; an increase of one real in the tobacco 
duty at Campeche, which in 1792 produced 7002 pesos; the mail duties at 
Arispe; freight duties, included under aprovechamientos above; a head 
tax on imported negroes, included under the alcaoala above; quicksilver 
freights, included under quicksilver duties, below; vacancies in enco- 
miendas, included under the tributes. For details of these duties see the 
Compendio, 2a parte, arts. 128, 130, 154-155, 167-168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 
173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180-187. 

Application of the Revenues 373 

Bico, Florida, Trinidad, the Philippines, and others. After 
the situados were deducted, there remained, applicable to the 
expenses of the viceroyalty, 5,843,438 pesos. The cost of operat- 
ing the government was 4,090,688 pesos, leaving still in the 
viceroyal fund 1,752,750 pesos with which to meet unusual ex- 
penses, or to be applied on the public debt of either Spain or 
New Spain. 112 

Of the four million and odd pesos spent on expenses of the 
viceroyalty, about 2,400,000 pesos were expended on troops and 
presidios, a formidable proportion to be demanded for public 
defense. Nearly 99,000 pesos were used to pay debts and 
interests due on deficits of earlier viceroyal terms. 113 Thus it 
is apparent that if the viceroyalty had been at this time main- 
tained on a normal peace basis, the expenses would have been 
less than half what was used. 114 
nJ 29. The masa remisible. — Beside the revenues which entered 
the general fund, there were, as was stated at the opening of the 
chapter, three special revenues which, though they were collected 
in New Spain, were sent direct to Spain. ' These were the receipts 
from the tobacco, playing-card, and quicksilver monopolies. The 
tobacco revenue was sent to Spain direct after 1765 ; the quick- 
silver revenue was subject to the immediate orders of the king 
as early as 1743 ; while the income from playing-cards was sent 

112 The public debt of New Spain was then about 4,000,000 pesos. That 
of Spain was in 1805 1750 million reals (87,500,000 pesos), which was far 
less than the public debt of France or England. For comparison and dis- 
cussion of the public debts of the three countries at that period see Hum- 
boldt, Political Essay, IV, 243. 

11 3 During the incumbency of Eevillagigedo the following deficits of 
earlier administrations were paid: From the term of Matias de Galvez, 
1,674,727 pesos; from the time of the audiencia gobemadora, 596,866 pesos; 
from the term of Bernardo de Galvez, 210,000 pesos; from the term of 
Flores, 152,000 pesos; special expenses of Eevillagigedo 's own term, 
1,082,450 pesos, besides 112,122 pesos for the Nootka expeditions and 
116,672 pesos for Alexander Malaspina's scientific cruise (Instruction 
Eeservada, arts. 748-9). 

i 14 See Fonseca and Urrutia, I, tables following p. xxxviii; see also 
Humboldt, Political Essay, IV, 221, for a table showing the receipts of the 

374 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

direct to Spain in 1678 at least for the once. In 1787 it was 
ordered sent regularly to Spain. 115 

The tobacco revenue, the inception and operation of which 
was discussed in a previous chapter, was a source of ever-increas- 
ing returns during the Spanish domination. In 1766 the total 
income was 1,417,846 pesos, the net profit being 239,097 pesos. 
By 1790 the gross receipts had mounted to 6,235,314 pesos, and 
the profit to 3,397,965 pesos. From 1766 to 1790 the total gross 
receipts were 110,797,358 pesos, and the total net proceeds were 
52,437,074 pesos. In 1802 the net proceeds were 3,500,000 pesos, 
the total receipts having amounted to 7,687,000 pesos. This 
revenue was the largest of all those of New Spain. 116 

five-year period ending 1789. Maniau, Compendio, 2a parte, gives the 
table of receipts and expenditures for 1788-92 as follows: 


Total assets, general fund $11,184,051 

Salaries and costs of administration $1,381,407} -. q™ -„o 

Special charges against certain revenues 578,326$ ' ' 

Leaving net to the general fund $9,224,318 

Distribution of the Net Income 

For appropriations (situados) to other colonies $4,528,076 

Salaries of justices 133,038 

War expenses 3,604,380 

Various salaries 78,943 |, $9,136,526 

Pensions 74,310 

Expenses of the viceroyalty 252,287 

Salaries of real hacienda 465,490 

Balance after deducting all charges $87,792 

Contrasting this statement with that of the period 1785-89, it is ap- 
parent that, while the gross income had grown more than 300,000 pesos, 
the situados had been increased by more than a million pesos, and war 
expenses by still another million. So that, instead of an increased balance, 
about half as much was left as during the first period. In other words, 
New Spain was made to bear the brunt of the greatly increased expendi- 
tures of the Spanish empire. The budget for the year 1803, remitted to 
Spain by the viceroy Iturrigaray (Humboldt, IV, 226-9), shows little 
change in the financial situation from that of the period just mentioned. 

us Fonseca and Urrutia, II, 314. 

nsFonseca and Urrutia, II, 353-468; Galvez, Informe General, 19-54; 
Humboldt, "Tablas geografico-politicas del reino de la Nueva Espana 
(en el afio de 1803)," in the Boletin de Geografia y Estadistica, I, No. 8; 
Eevillagigedo, art. 1108; Maniau, Compendio, 3a parte, 16-30. 

The Playing-Card Monopoly 375 

Royal revenue from sale of playing-cards in New Spain was 
collected since 1552, in which year the business was monopolized 
in all Spanish possessions, as it had previously been in Spain. 
By 1576 cards were manufactured in Mexico ; in 1635 they sold 
at one peso per pack, as they did in 1794. At the latter date 
120,000 packs were annually consumed. 117 In 1644 the visitor- 
general Palafox found the lessees of this revenue bankrupt. 
Other bankruptcies following, the branch was put under admin- 
instration in 1677, returning to the lease system in 1693. In 
1746 the playing-card revenue was leased for an annual advance 
payment of 70,000 pesos. 118 The two methods alternated until 
the arrival of Galvez, who formed ordinances governing manu- 
facture, sale, and use of playing-cards. These regulations in- 
creased the revenue by about 59,000 pesos before Galvez left 
New Spain. The ordinance of the intendants changed previous 
regulations only to the extent of placing contentious litigation 
concerning the monopoly in the hands of the intendants, remov- 
ing it from the control of the director and factors of the revenue. 

In 1777 the sale of playing-cards from the factory created at 
Macharaviaya, Galvez' native village, began. This factory had 
the monopoly of the production of all cards used in America and 
the Philippines. Its establishment was only one of the many 
public benefits which Galvez originated for the prosperity of his 

In New Spain this revenue was managed like the powder 
revenue, that is, neither had a treasury of its own, but each 
deposited its receipts in the tobacco treasury. In the quinquen- 
nium 1785-89 the revenue was 97,835 pesos, or more than double 
the receipts before Galvez came to New Spain. In 1790 the 
product was 120,000 pesos. 119 

ii7 Revillagigedo, art. 1033. 

us Bodriguez de San Miguel, Pandectas Hispano-Megicanas, II, No. 5109. 

ii9Fonseca and Urrutia, II, 295-352; Humboldt, IV, 214; Galvez, 
Informe General, 17-20; Maniau, Compendio, 3a parte, 1-5; Eevillagigedo, 
arts. 1032-38. 

376 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

The revenue from quicksilver was always an important one. 
The process of extracting gold and silver by means of mercury 
was discovered in New Spain in 1557 by Bartolome de Medina, 
a miner of Pachuca. 120 The royal income from this source 
received more attention from kings and viceroys than did most 
of the other revenues, because other mining duties bore close 
relations to the efficiency of the quicksilver distribution. Quick- 
silver was imported from Spain when possible, being sent usually 
in war vessels. At times it was bought in Peru, often from 
Germany, and even from China, though its importation from 
foreign countries was frequently forbidden. The desire to foment 
quicksilver mining in Spain led sometimes to prohibitions against 
working the deposits in New Spain. In 1777 experts from the 
Almaden mines in Spain came to the viceroyalty for the purpose 
of developing the quicksilver deposits, but the veins discovered 
failed to yield results worthy of notice. 121 

From the proceeds of sales by the government, 400,000 pesos 
were sent to Havana for tobacco to ship to Spain, and 500,000 
pesos were paid for the importations of quicksilver from the 
mines of Germany. The actual sales almost never satisfied 
these demands, but increased revenues from gold and silver and 
from the mint helped to supply the deficiency, which was made 
up from the general fund. The income from 1776 to 1789 was 
about 540,000 pesos per annum, not a greatly larger sum than 
was received at the time of Galvez' visitation, but the reductions 
in the price obtained by him, while the sales produced the same 
return, indicate that a benefit of about one-fourth was reaped 
by the miners. 122 

120 On the use of quicksilver in the mines of Mexico see Humboldt, 
III, 280-91. 

121 For prices of quicksilver, and amounts consumed, see above, p. 242, 
note 10. 

i22Fonseca and Urrutia, I, 297-387; Galvez, Informe General, 74-77; 
Humboldt, IV, 209; Maniau, Compendio, 3a parte, 6-15; Macedo, Tres 
Monografias, I, La Evolucion Mercantil, 36. 

Almirantazgo and Correo 377 

During the quinquennium 1785-89, the three revenues just 
named produced 34,499,151 pesos, the net proceeds being 
16,806,644 pesos, or 3,361,151 pesos annually, which were sent to 
Spain. 123 

30. Revenues from the church. — We have now completed a 
summary view of the revenues of the first group, or, more prop- 
erly speaking, of the first two groups, the masa comun, or general 
fund, and the masa remisiole, or fund sent direct to Spain. 
In what Fonseca and Urrutia call the second group, and Revilla- 
gigedo designates the third one, were five revenues which were 
devoted to particular destinations, and derived chiefly from 
ecclesiastical sources. 124 They were moneys accruing from sale 

123 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, table 3, following p. xxxviii; the table 
shown by Humboldt, IV, 221, which was remitted to Spain by Eevilla- 
gigedo for this same period, shows the net produce of these three revenues 
as 3,819,527 pesos. 

124 Two revenues, the almirantazgo and the income from postal service, 
are not discussed by Fonseca and Urrutia or by Maniau. The levy of the 
almirantazgo in Spain antedated the discovery of America. The proceeds 
constituted a part of the emoluments of the admiral, hence the name. It 
was collected on exports and imports at Seville, but not on vessels trading 
with the Indies until 1737, in which year was created the position of 
almirante general de Espaiia e Indias. The almirantazgo was at that time 
begun as a sort of contribution or donation by the commerce of New 
Spain and the Philippines. The tax consisted of diverse levies on parcels 
of merchandise; chief among them were those of two and one-half pesos 
on every quintal of iron imported into New Spain, one peso tonnage duty 
on all vessels, ten reals on every one thousand pesos' worth of private 
exports. The duty was abolished by royal order of October 30, 1748, but 
continued to be collected nevertheless (Lerdo de Tejada, Comer cio Esterior 
de Mexico, 14-15). In the time of Revillagigedo the younger, the com- 
merce of New Spain contributed under the designation almirantazgo, 5000 
pesos, and that of the Philippines 2000 pesos, though the post of admiral 
had been abolished (Instruccion Eeservada, art. 1337). 

The business of carrying the mails of New Spain was made a salable 
office by Charles V. The last holder of the position of superintendent of 
posts (correo mayor) was Antonio Mendez Prieto, who purchased it for 
71,770 pesos, agreeing to transport free all mail of the courts and the 
system of real hacienda. 

Grimaldi, chief minister of state under Charles III, in a provisional 
regulation dated August 24, 1764, provided for the establishment of a 
royal mail service between Spain and America. The postoffices of Mexico 
and Vera Cruz were incorporated with this service. Domingo Antonio 
Lopez was given charge of the land route to Mexico, with instructions to 
establish intermediate offices. All other postal service in New Spain re- 

378 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

V of dispensations {aulas de la Santa Cruzada), salaries of church 
positions which reverted to the crown in case of vacancies (va- 
I cantes), the half annats and mesadas of ecclesiastics, church 
tithes, and fines and confiscations from court processes. 

Sale of dispensations was extended to the American posses- 
sions of Spain by Pope Gregory XIII in a brief of September 
5, 1578 ; dispensations were sold every year in Spain, but every 
two years in New Spain. 

Supervision of this rent was intrusted conjointly to a sub- 
delegate (comisario subdelegado) of the ecclesiastical cabildo, 
to an assessor who was senior judge of the criminal chamber 
and to the civil fiscal of the audiencia. 125 

When Galvez came to New Spain, collection of revenue from 
sale of dispensations was leased to contractors. The amount paid 
for collection was usually fourteen per cent of receipts, but in 
Durango it was twenty per cent. The instructions to the visitor 

mained for the time being in the hands of those who had purchased their 
places. Prieto was loath to give up his monopoly. Finally, in spite of 
his delays, the position was taken from him on December 21, 1765, he 
being allowed five and one-half per cent on the purchase price he had paid, 
until April, 1769, when he was repaid the principal. After July 1, 1766 r 
the mails were administered by crown officers, and they were paid from 
real hacienda for their services. To meet expenses, the franking privilege 
hitherto enjoyed by court and treasury officials was abolished. The 
postal service was extended to the chief towns only, many large provinces 
being left unserved, but, as official mail paid postage, it was possible to 
extend the routes to the chief provincial centers. By the end of the 
century the postal service extended throughout the entire length of the 
American possessions (Humboldt, I, 7). 

The postal service was administered through the general superintendent 
of mails in Madrid, and the proceeds of the revenue were sent direct to 
him (the minister of state was the superintendent). By 1769 the postal 
revenue in New Spain was 80,000 pesos. Due to extensions of the service, 
and to increased use as the country became more prosperous, the rent 
increased so that every monthly mail ship in the time of Eevillagigedo 
carried to Spain about 30,000 pesos. The produce between 1765 and 1777 
was 1,006,054 pesos; between 1778 and 1790 it was 2,420,426 pesos (Hum- 
boldt, IV, 214; Eevillagigedo, arts. 1216-17; Galvez, Informe General, 54). 
For an account of the incorporation of the entire postal service of the 
Americas to the crown see Ferrer del Eio, Historia del Beinado de Carlos 
III en Espana, I, 461-3. 

125 Becopilacion, ley 1, tit. 20, lib. 1. See also the remaining 26 leyes 
of the titulo, all referring to dispensations. 

Dispensations 379 

were to reduce these premiums as rapidly as possible, and to 
shorten the time allowed to contractors in which to make their 
payments. Accordingly, when in 1767 the existing contracts 
expired, he put the branch under administration. 126 The result, 
in the archbishopric of Mexico, was to double the income in two 
years' time. This was accomplished by giving the collection 
into the hands of the parish priests and paying them five per 
cent for collections. Such a plan had been proposed at an earlier 
date, but was rejected because it was thought that it would have 
a tendency to make the parish priests force dispensations upon 
their parishioners whether or not, a practice contrary to law. 
Galvez was not greatly concerned over this danger, though he 
admitted it ; his characteristic statement was that the dispensa- 
tions would serve to better purpose if sold by the priests, for they 
were bought for the most part by people who could not dis- 
tinguish them from stamped paper if they bought them from 

During the government of Revillagigedo, dispensations were 
sold in Mexico at the house of the treasurer of this revenue. 
Elsewhere they were sold by the tobacco administrators. They 
varied in price from two reals to ten pesos. Management of the 
revenue was put into the hands of the treasury officials of Mexico ; 
this arrangement was changed by the ordinance of the intendants, 
under which the contentious jurisdiction over the dispensation 
revenue was joined to the superintendency of real hacienda, 
being thus taken from the treasury officials. The latter had then 
only the duty of sending out the dispensations to the provincial 
treasurers, and of receiving those which were left unsold. Care 
of the finances was reposed with the tribunal de cuentas. 127 

In 1766-67 sales of dispensations under the last lease produced 
270,489 pesos. In the next two years the increase of revenue 

126 See above, p. 262. 

127 Eevillagigedo, arts. 1188-1195. 

380 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

under administration added over 100,000 pesos, exclusive of the 
returns from Durango and Merida, figures for which the visitor 
did not have. 128 Returns from dispensations were fluctuating. 
From 1765 to 1771, receipts were 1,358,987 pesos. From 1772 
to 1778 they were 2,779,174 pesos, and from 1779 to 1789, 
2,493,259 pesos. In this period the lowest receipt was that of 
1779, being 132,883 pesos; the highest was in 1786, when it 
was 416,883 pesos. Humboldt estimated it at 250,000 pesos for 
1789. 129 

The revenue from vacant es was variable, depending on the 
number of deaths among the clergy ; in 1785-89 it yielded annu- 
ally 137,000 pesos, while in the period 1788-92 the returns were 
only 93,329 pesos. The income was devoted to pious purposes 
within the viceroyalty. 130 

The mesada was an early revenue in New Spain, having been 
initiated in 1638. It was the exaction of one-twelfth of the salary 
and other emoluments of clericals. It was exacted once in five 
years, unless a religious moved to a new post within that time, 
from the lesser church officers, i.e., those who were paid salaries 
of less than 413 pesos. 131 

The ecclesiastical half annat was added to the exactions 
from the clergy in 1744 ; it was, like the secular half annat, half 
of one year's salary. Philip VI and Charles III suspended the 
collection of the mesada, but the latter monarch reimposed it in 
1777. During the reign of Charles IV it was again suspended. 
From 1765 to 1769 the revenue from these sources was 17,606 
pesos annually. It advanced rather unsteadily, the average for 
the period 1785-89 being 65,000 pesos. In 1788-92 only 30,745 

128 Galvez, Informe General, 125-27, Does. 27, 28. 

129 Political Essay, IV, 214; Fonseca and Urrutia, III, 263-337; Maniau, 
Compendio, 3a parte, 32-38. 

130 fonseca and Urrutia, I, xxxiii; Galvez, Informe General, 122-24; 
Maniau, Compendio, 3a parte, 41-44. 

i3i Bevillagigedo, art. 1251. 

Judicial Revenues 381 

pesos were received. Galvez was particularly urgent in his 
recommendation to Bucarely that collections of taxes from cler- 
icals should be more carefully attended to, as arrears in church 
revenues were notorious. 132 

The product of this revenue was sent to Spain, together with 
eighteen per cent on the salaries of religious who were sent to 
New Spain, to pay for their transportation. It was expended 
for war costs, in sending missions to America, and for other 
purposes, mostly of a pious nature. 133 

Deposit of the tithes (diezmos) with the treasury officers 
occurred in localities where the church income was not sufficient 
to support the local ecclesiastical establishment, instead of giving 
it direct to the church cabildos. The running expenses of each 
such church were then paid from the royal treasury. Collections 
of the tithes in this manner amounted to 55,377 pesos per annum 
in the quinquennium 1785-89 ; in 1788-92, 51,876 pesos were 
received. 134 

v Kevenues from court fines and expenses of justice (penas de 
odmara y gastos de justicia) were derived from fines imposed; 
they were divided between the two headings (fines, and expenses) 
in the ratio of one for the former to two of the latter. The 
small amounts credited to these sources is remarkable, but is 
not explained by the authorities cited. In 1765 the revenues 
amounted to eight pesos ; in 1767 the receipts were eighteen pesos. 
For six succeeding years there was nothing credited to this fund, 
a situation repeated in 1775 and in 1778-80. In twenty-five 
years, 1765-90, the total receipts were 42,236 pesos. From 1785 
to 1789 the average receipts were 6692 pesos ; Revillagigedo names 
2400 pesos as the income ; as there could naturally be no expecta- 

132 Galvez, Informe General, 122-4; Fonseca and Urrutia, III, 190-235; 
Maniau, Compendio, 3a parte, 45-48. 

133 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, xxxiii. 

134 Fonseca and Urrutia, III, 171; Maniau, Compendio, 3a parte, 39-40. 

382 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

tion of regular receipts, no special destination was indicated 
for them. 135 

The five revenues of this group produced in the quinquennium 
1785-89 a total of 2,652,130 pesos. Only one of them had charges 
for administration, that of dispensations. Thus the net proceeds 
were 2,583,106 pesos, of which amount 555,320 pesos were sent 
to Spain. 136 

31. Special funds under treasury protection. — The last group 
of funds, of which account was kept on the books of the 
royal treasury but not in actuality belonging to that institution, 
was called ramos agenos, that is, non-appurtenant branches. 137 
They were accorded the protection of the treasury because their 
uses were especially worthy, being in conformity with the pur- 
poses of the paternal attitude of the monarchs. These special 
funds were: judicial and extra-judicial deposits; estates of de- 
ceased employees of the government ; funds of several insurance 
associations (montepios) among government employees; the 
California Pious Fund; estates of deceased ecclesiastics; estates 
of Indian communes; revenues of four per cent from Spaniards 
and two per cent from Indians for the municipal treasury of 
Mexico (basis of computation not named) ; the Indian hospital 
fund ; the fund for native courts ; funds for expenses of justice ; 
those for halls of justice ; those for repair of the palace ; the Vera 
Cruz wharf fund; the Huehuetoca canal fund; bridge tolls; 
seigniorage for the miners ' court ; the fund for extinction of 
prohibited beverages ; revenue from pulque for the dungeons of 
La Acordada; similar revenues for street work ; the tax on mezcal 
(a distilled liquor) and on herbs for the water-works of Guad- 
alajara; the tax on cacao for military uniforms and barracks; 
soldiers' pensions; loans to the treasury; the ransom fund; the 

135 Instruction Eeservada, art. 1300; Fonseca and Urrutia, I, p. xxxiv; 
Maniau, Compendio, 3a parte, 52-57. 

136 Fonseca and Urrutia, I, table 4, following p. xxxviii. 

!37 These funds are described briefly in Maniau, Compendio, 4a parte, 

Growth of the Revenues 383 

national bank fund ; cathedral pensions ; confiscation of contra- 
band fund for the Council of the Indies ; contraband fund for the 
superintendent of real hacienda; the same fund for private 
persons (informants) ; and the special fund of the impost for 
the district of Tabasco. 

These funds, all in existence in 1789, were most of them 
equal to the demands made upon them. The total deposit 
amounted to 1,897,128 pesos, and the balance after the necessary 
disbursements was about 196,000 pesos. 

32. Recapitulation. — From the above four (or three) groups 
of funds, the total receipts in 1789 were 20,075,261 pesos, of which 
13,884,336 pesos were accounted net. 

The growth of the public revenues of New Spam during the 
eighteenth century was due to a number of causes. The exhibit 
of the figures which represent that growth is interesting. 138 

In 1712 the revenues, exclusive of quicksilver, amounted to .... 3,078,410 
From 1756 to 1760 the average product was, exclusive of tobacco, 6,310,985 
From 1761 to 1765 the average product was, exclusive of tobacco, 6,074,147 
From 1766 to 1770 the average product was, exclusive of tobacco, 6,831,195 
From 1763 to 1767 the average product was, including all sources, 6,169,964 
From 1767 to 1769 the average product was, including all sources, 8,000,000 
From 1773 to 1776 the average product was, including all sources, 12,000,000 
From 1777 to 1779 the average product was, including all sources, 14,500,000 
From 1780 to 1784 the average product was, including all sources, 18,176,479 
From 1785 to 1789 the average product was, including all sources, 18,310,400 

In 1791 the average product was 18,236,000 

In 1792 the average product was 19,521,689 

In 1802 the average product was 20,200,000 

Among the causes of this increase must be reckoned the 
increase in population, which, unfortunately, cannot be accurately y 
ascertained, the increase in prosperity due to lowered rates on , 
quicksilver, with attendant increase of metallic output, and, 
probably more than to any other one cause, the adoption of the 

!38 Galvez, Informe General, 60-1, and Doc. 8; Kevillagigedo, arts. 741, 
750-751; Humboldt, IV, 207-8. 



384 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

policy of "free commerce." The more rigid enforcement of the 
laws governing collections of revenues, the changes from lease to 
administration of the revenues, the establishment of the tobacco 
monopoly, and the elimination in some degree of such dishonest 
practices as were shown in an earlier chapter to have prevailed 
at Vera Cruz, must all be considered as concomitant factors in 
the apparent prosperity of the closing years of the eighteenth 
century in New Spain. 

It is to be observed that the comparative freedom of commerce 
extended to the colonies by the Reglamento of 1778 was at first 
withheld from New Spain and Venezuela, for the great Prag- 
mdtica was withal a timorous measure, imbued with that con- 
servative policy which characterized all of Charles Third ? s benev- 
olent reforms. To these richest of the colonies he dared not yet 
concede their full share of liberalized trade, lest the revenue 
of the state should prove inadequate. At first, New Spain was 
permitted only to import in the annual quicksilver ship the 
produce and manufactures of Spain, with the reductions or 
exemptions from duty provided in the " Reglamento. After this 
opening wedge in the monopoly of Cadiz and Vera Cruz mer- 
chants, the steps were gradual, until by royal decree of February 
28, 1789, the full privileges of free commerce were extended to 
all the colonies without distinction. 139 

Contemporary opinion in New Spain as to the beneficial 
results of free commerce was divided naturally upon the lines 
of self-interest. The most of the old merchants were quite likely 
to revert with regret to the old epoch of restrictions, in which 
they had acquired fortunes, and to lament the decadence into 
which business had fallen. Indeed, while the period between 
1780 and the end of the century was the most prosperous epoch 
of commerce, there were numerous bankruptcies, due to the in- 
ability of the merchants to break from the forms of the old 

139 Macedo, Tres Monografias, I, La Evolution Mercantil, 24. 

Effects of Free Commerce 385 

system. Under the system of freedom of movement of vessels, it 
required foresight and acumen to make the proper kind of im- 
portations at the right time ; it had only been necessary, on the 
old basis, to import infrequently enough, and the high prices 
would naturally follow. There arose, as a result of the change, 
a new class of merchants, who, investing smaller sums, were 
content with smaller profits. As their number increased, moder- 
ate wealth was more widely distributed, instead of large wealth 
being concentrated in the hands of the few. The older merchants, 
no longer content with commerce, entered agriculture and mining, 
and as a result these sources of wealth were greatly benefited. 
This prosperity was demonstrated by an increase in the tithes, 
as between the periods of 1769-79 and 1779-89, of 4,996,664 pesos. 
Similar increases in the prosperity of mining and commerce 
showed in the receipts of the duties on precious metals and in 
the alcabala. 

The welfare of the interior of Mexico was aided by the fact 
that under the liberal commercial policy the inland merchants 
were able to buy directly at Vera Cruz, instead of at Jalapa or 
Mexico. They thus saved reshipment expenses, and the six per 
cent alcabala at Mexico. Freights, commissions, and delays of 
the fleets were eliminated or lowered, so that prices could be 
reduced, while the revenues grew by added importations. 140 

But the increase of revenues is a misleading criterion of the 
financial adequacy of the system. In 1716, the viceroy Linares 
found himself greatly perplexed by his duties toward real 
hacienda. Every year there were lacking 800,000 pesos needed 
to complete the appropriations for presidios, missions, the coast- 
guard fleet, and other expenses. The king had commanded him 
to send one million pesos to Spain each year, and to pay certain 
other arrears and interests. He was, he said, in the position of 

140 El Viagero Universal, Tomo 27 (Madrid, 1799), 6-16; Floridablanca, 
Apology, art. 27, in Coxe, Memoirs of the Kings of Spain of the House of 
Bourbon, V, 313-315. 

386 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

a receiver or administrator for a bankrupt institution, which 
required his attention as would the estate of a bankrupt merchant. 
Pleading to be informed which of the pressing needs of the crown 
should be first met with available resources, he got no reply, 
and expressed the opinion that to meet the obligations of the 
government, it would be necessary to send money from Spain. 141 
This condition was ameliorated as the years passed, but was 
always threatening. When Galvez was in America, the receipts 
I were barely equal to the needs of the viceroyalty. 142 In 1788, 
' the government of New Spain, with all its increased revenues, 
was in arrears about one million pesos, and in 1790-91, in spite 
of the fact that Revillagigedo had satisfied himself that not 
much greater revenues could be obtained under the existing 
system, the demand from Spain was for still more money, if it 
could be obtained without adding new burdens. 143 

The comment of this great viceroy, able statesman, and, for 
his day and country, wise economist, upon the system of real 
hacienda, in the development of which his name and that of 
Galvez are linked as the most able men of the viceroyalty, is of 
particular interest. 

From the account which I have just given of the various branches 
which compose real hacienda, the multitude of these is made sufficiently 
evident, as also is the difficulty of attending to them all individually 
and collectively, avoiding complication and confusion in their management, 
which should be carried on with the greatest clearness and order. 

It is impossible for the taxpayer to have knowledge of every one 
of the contributions, to know clearly what he ought to pay, and how and 
why he ought to do so. Such ignorance makes payment more difficult, 
even among the better class of vassals, who are incapable of defrauding 
the royal treasury, being quite convinced that they have the obligation 
of bearing the expenses of the crown, including the maintenance of 
troops for its defence, and the salaries of those who are employed in 
upholding the proper administration of justice. To such vassals, the 
arbitrary methods of subordinates under a multitude of complicated rules, 

141 Instruction dada por . . . Linares, in Instrucciones que los Vireyes de 
Nueva Espana dejaron a sus Sucesores, 311-2. 

142 Informe General, 62. 

143 Instruction Beservada, art. 752. 

Changes Proposed by Revillagigedo 387 

added to the unjust or improper manner in which subordinates are wont 
to conduct themselves, are for this reason alone repugnant. 

All this is extremely difficult to remedy when there are so many 
exactions, some of them so complicated and so difficult to determine that 
their collection has to be left to the discrimination of the collector. 

It would therefore be desirable to decrease considerably the number 
of the revenues, although it might have to be done at the expense of 
increasing the principal ones in order to indemnify thus the loss to the 
treasury from the suppression of the lesser rents. 

It would also be desirable to make uniform the names of the exac- 
tions which, being one and the same thing, have different names in 
different ports, as for instance the anclage in Vera Cruz, which is known 
as the buques in Campeche. 

It would also be fitting to abolish certain duties which, although 
for distinct reasons and under different names, are assessed at one and 
the same time for a single act, as for example, for the introduction of 
goods there are to be paid the almojarifazgo, the alcdbala de mar, the 
fortification, the averia and the armada. It is very hard for the payer to 
inform himself as to how and when he ought to satisfy each of these 
duties; it is an added difficulty to regulate them all, and keep for each 
one its duly separate account. 

It would be much easier if all duties were united and collected under 
the name of duties of introduction, and if they had a fixed and certain 
quota, which should vary only according to the class of goods and pro- 
ducts. This arrangement and distinction is very essential for the develop- 
ment of stock-raising, farming, mining, and national manufactures, 
whereby, as far as may be possible, the progress of foreign nations may 
be restrained. 

It is also essential that all exactions should be at a certain percentage, 
and not by bales, bundles, barrels, or whatever the package may be, 
so as to prevent a quantity of cheap goods from paying as much as 
another of greater value which has the same bulk or is similarly packed. 
The collection and payment of the entry duties thus regulated would 
be much facilitated, if there were not the reductions of different kinds 
of coin and the increase of prices which now occur in Vera Cruz in 
reference to imports from Spain. It would be much more simple and 
just to estimate them upon their arrival according to their face value 
at those places, in current coin of the country, and collect in that medium 
the percentage due according to the kind of goods. 

Of the articles monopolized, there are few in which private persons 
would not make more profit than does the King. The public would also 
be better served, and some vassals who might engage in production of 
goods now monopolized would be better disposed to contribute to his 
Majesty a large part of what they now pay for those goods. I even 



388 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

believe it would be reciprocally advantageous if the duties which the 
King now collects on such goods as leather, lead, tin and alum were 
completely removed, because many persons would devote themselves to their 
production if they were entirely duty-free. This belief is warranted 
from the increased production which has followed the gradual relaxation 
of the strictness with which they were at first monopolized. 

This would not be true ... in the tobacco revenue, for it would be 
very hard to substitute any other measures which would produce so much 
revenue. As to quicksilver . . . and gunpowder, there are also political 
reasons why [they] . . . should remain in the hands of the government, 
and the simplicity of salt manufacture makes it fitting that, in case any 
product need be monopolized, this should have the preference, both for 
the above reason and because its widespread use diffuses and equalizes 
the contribution; this condition does not prevail with regard to snow, 
yet the reflections which I have made concerning this revenue obtain 
in favor of its monopolization. With reference to playing-cards, it is 
enough that they are of so little necessity and so often prejudicial to make 
it no grievous burden that their manufacture and sale should not be free. 

Nevertheless, if it were possible to suppress the greater part of these 
monopolies or combine them with other assets of the treasury in such 
a way that there would be no deficit, it would be very beneficial to all 
the public, especially in the branches of salt and gunpowder, which 
have in this kingdom a use very distinct from that in which they are 
employed in Europe, for they are instruments and means necessary for 
the extraction and separation of metals, the chief occupation of this 
country. 144 

X 33. Conclusion. — The obvious conclusion from the study of 
the labors of Galvez in America is that his reforms contained no 
fundamental change in the operation of the fiscal machinery. 
There was no startling departure from established procedure and 
mode of thought. There was simply an enforcement of more 
rigid adherence to the paramount interest of the mother country 
in the productive wealth of New Spain. The burden of the up- 
keep of the empire was more firmly yoked upon the neck of the 
most prosperous colony, with all the trammels upon business, all 
the minutiae of careful watching and zealous conservation of 
the royal interests that ingenuity could suggest or experience 

Instruction Reservada, arts. 218-24. 

The New Regime 389 

Yet this was not enough. While the reforms increased rev- 
enues, the machinery for their collection increased expenses in 
undue proportion, and the growing necessity for colonial defense 
added to the burden. It was not that the levies were unduly 
heavy in actual amounts raised, but that the machinery was 
costly and unwieldy, so that the net returns were disproportion- 
ate to the effort involved. Freedom of commerce increased busi- 
ness, reducing prices and redistributing wealth, but the control 
of foreigners over trade was only slightly reduced, if at all. 
Prolonged wars demanded revenues which could not be produced 
under the lowered duties, and a speedy return to higher levies 
ensued. The ordinance of the intendants provided reforms which 
tended to the exaction of the uttermost farthing of revenue, but 
these reforms were tardily, uncertainly, and irregularly applied. 
The very reforms themselves prevented the autonomous self- 
expression of the Mexican people by denying them, more per- 
vasively than hitherto, share in local or general government. 

The centralization of administration of revenues, the rigid 
enforcement of monopoly regulations, warfare against smuggling, 
and the fostering of Spanish manufacture and carrying trade 
had, when Revillagigedo expressed the above quoted opinion, 
brought about all the increase of government wealth of which the 
system was capable. Probably the suggestions of the viceroy for 
simplification of methods of collection, liberalization of the mo- 
nopolistic ideal, and uniformity of the coinage systems of Spain 
and New Spain would have tended to still greater returns. 

But when these ideas were expressed, the hands that had 
guided affairs in the Spanish empire during the reign of Charles 
III were no longer in control. With Charles III, Ploridablanca, 
and Galvez gone, there came into power under Charles IV the 
queen's favorite Godoy, and Revillagigedo was succeeded by 
Branciforte, Godoy 's brother-in-law. The renascence initiated 
early in the century and brought to its apogee under Charles III 

390 Real Hacienda and the Reforms of Gdlvez 

had begun to decline even before that monarch closed his reign, 
and now for New Spain the end of prosperity and development 
had come. When in 1810 the grito de Dolores was raised, the 
commerce, mining, agriculture, and the public revenues were all 
in practically the flourishing condition which has been described. 
Before two years were gone, business took to new and illegitimate 
channels, all the sources of income had begun to depreciate, and 
general bankruptcy ensued. By 1816 the total revenues had 
fallen to 2,726,198 pesos, a figure above which it had not risen 
when the revolution came to an end with independence in 1821. 
It was not until 1847-52 that the annual revenues of Mexico 
had risen to 6,477,000 pesos, about the figure of the receipts of 
the time of Jose de Galvez. 145 

The renascence of Spain in the eighteenth century was due 
to the French influence throughout. It reached its culmination 
under Charles III, among whose most efficient ministers was the 
man whose name is inseparable from the subject of fiscal admin- 
istration of the Spanish-American colonies. The remarkable 
increase in receipts of the funds needed to work out the imperial 
ideas of his royal master was due to the vigorous and efficient 
methods employed by Jose de Galvez. It was the irony of fate 
that the prosperity he helped to bring was destroyed by the 
political course of the same nation to which it owed its inception — 
France. The Revolution in France began the work of disinte- 
gration in Spain which was finished by Napoleon. The potent 
influence of that same Revolution was a decisive factor in the 
spread of ideas of independence in the New World, irrespective 
of the revolt that would have come in time with the growth of 
exasperation at the colonial policy which denied to American 
Spaniards adequate participation in the control of government. 
It was to forefend what actually came to pass that the energies 
of Charles III and his ministers were bent; though with what 
mistaken steps the judgment of today is gratuitous. 

i45Macedo, 365-9; Moran y Crivelli, 17. 



The manuscript material upon which this monograph is based 
was obtained for the most part from the Archivo de Indias, in 
Seville, Spain. A few important items were already in the 
Bancroft Collection. Some manuscripts have been copied in the 
British Museum, the Archivo Historico Nacional of Madrid, the 
Archivo General of Simancas, and the parochial archives of 
various churches in Madrid, Malaga, and Macharaviaya, Spain. 
The transcripts from Spain were obtained by Professor Henry 
Morse Stephens and by the Traveling Fellows of the Native Sons 
of the Golden West. Transcripts from the Archivo General y 
Publico of Mexico which were obtained by Professor Herbert E. 
Bolton have been used, as well as some material procured there 
by Professor D. E. Smith. 

A large part of the material used consists of official corre- 
spondence between ministers of the court of Madrid and officials 
of the colonial government in New Spain or representatives of 
the church or the Franciscan order in that viceroyalty. The 
most important of these letters were those emanating from or 
directed to Julian de Arriaga, minister of the Indies, Antonio 
Bucarely, successor of Croix in the viceregency; the consulado 
of Mexico ; the viceroys Croix and Cruillas ; Jose de Galvez ; the 
Marques de Grimaldi, first minister of state ; Landazuri, contador 
general of the Council of the Indies; Pedro de Rada, secretary 
of the viceroyalty; Esquilache, minister of finance, and others, 
When letters of these persons have been cited they have been 
referred to their legajo numbers in the archives of their origin, 
and are not listed here. 

Certain larger and more comprehensive items in manuscript, 
including some of the correspondence, require specific mention. 
In the list below transcripts from the Archivo de Indias are 

392 Bibliography 

given with their est ante, cajon and legajo numbers only, the name 
of the archive being omitted ; thus, 104-3-2 signifies Arehivo de 
Indias, estante 104, cajon 3, legajo 2. Manuscripts from other 
archives have their origin indicated in full. 

Acuerda la junta la conveniencia de pasar el visitador Galvez a Cali- 
fornias, Sonora y Nueva Vizcaya. Mexico, February 29, 1768; 104-3-2. 

Acuerdo y papeles tocantes a la visita de Mexico, 1605. 136-6-12. 

Arangoyti, Domingo. Carta del juez de residencia del virrey marques 
de Cruillas y sentencias dictadas en los autos por el Supremo Consejo de 
las Indias. Mexico, May 15, 1767-Madrid, March 3, 1778; 90-2-17. 

Armona, Matias de. Informe sobre California. January, 1771: 96-1-11. 

Belefia, Eusebio Ventura. Manifesto de la conducta observada por — 
en las comisiones puestas a su cargo por . . . Croix y . . . Galvez. 
Mexico, April 9, 1772; 104-3-3. 

Blazon y genealogia de la casa de los Galvez de Macharaviaya. From 
a copy in possession of Sefiora Maria Loreta de Hita Fernandez, teacher 
of Macharaviaya, Spain. 

Campomanes, Pedro Rodriguez de, and Josef Moiiino, Informe sobre el 
nuevo metodo para la administracion de real hacienda . . que establecio 
el visitador Don Joseph de Galvez. Madrid, April 20, 1771; 88-5-25. 

Carrasco, Francisco, Representaciones a Su Majestad relativas a . . . 
Galvez. March 13, 1776; Arehivo Historico Nacional, Legajo 3211. 

Cartas que tratan de la visita hecha por Galbez en el comercio de 
Philipinas, 1768-1771. 88-5-23. 

Consulado de Mexico, Sobre cambio del sistema de aduana en Vera 
Cruz hecho por el visitador Galvez. Mexico, October 21, 1767; 88-5-25. 

Croix, Charles Francois, Marques de Croix, Instruccion que dejo . . . 
a su sucesor Don Antonio Bucarely y Ursua. Mexico, September 1, 1771; 
88-5-13. Translated in Correspondance du Marquis de Croix, 265-293. 

Espinosa, Jacinto de [Correspondencia sobre establecimiento del ramo 
de tabaco, December 18, 1764-February 9, 1765]. A. H. N., Legajo 2330. 

Expediente sobre una capitania general, 1768. 103-3-23. 

Extracto de documentos referentes a la expedicion de Sonora, 1766- 
1770. 104-3-2. 

Extraordinario mane jo y demasiada condescendencia que del Virey 
Marques de Croix logro Don Josef Galvez. A. G. I. Estado, Audiencia de 
Mexico, Legajo 21. 

Galvez, Jose de, Cuatro cartas sobre la visita hecha ... en materias 
de comercio [Yucatan, Campeche, Vera Cruz]. 88-5-25. 

Carta al ministro Arriaga, diciendo que el Virrey Marques de 

Cruillas procura por todos los medios impedirle el uso de sus facultades, 

Bibliography 393 

haciendo imposible la continuacion <le su visita, y acompana copias de 
cartas sobre este particular. Vera Cruz, December 20, 1765; 88-5-20. 

Carta del visitador gral Dn Joseph de Galvez a Dn Julian de 

Arriaga, dandole cuenta de haber quedado establecido en aquel Reino el 
estanco del tabaco y otros asuntos de su visita. Puebla, October 15, 1765; 

Instruccion que se dio a Don Felipe Neve quando se le confirio el 

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custodian of the collection, has been good enough to furnish the present 
writer with a copy of the table of contents of the document; the items, 
with a few exceptions, as for instance that here listed, have the same 
headings as those of the Informe G-eneral, published at Mexico in 1867. 
The manuscript bears the modern title, Informe sobre el estado de 
Mexico, California, Sonora, y Provincias remotas de Nueva Espana, 
por Jose de Galvez, 1768-1778. 

Instrucciones dadas para el recibo y despacho de los galeones a 

Acapulco. Mexico, November 30, 1766; 88-5-23. 

Plan para la ereccion de un Govierno y Comandancia General, que 

comprehenda la Peninsula de Californias, y las Provincias de Sinaloa, 
Sonora, y Nueva Vizcaya. 104-2-3. Mexico, January 23, 1768. 

Graciosas especies que se le ocurrieron al visitador general Don Josef 
de Galvez [1773?]. A. G. I. Estado, Aud. de Mex., No. 23. 

Instruccion que debe observar el Sor. Pagave en la visita general de 
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Instruccion reservada al visitador general Joseph Galvez. Madrid, 
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Justificacion de hidalguia de sangre de Dn Miguel de Galvez, un frag- 
mento. From a copy in possession of P. Jose Bejar Cunquero, cura of 
Macharaviaya, Spain. 

Llamos, Marques de los [and others], Consulta sobre el pro^ecto de 
comercio de America. Madrid, February 14, 1765; A. H. N., Legajo 2314. 

Landazuri, Tomas Ortiz de, Informe reservada sobre lo obrado por el 
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Informe de la contaduria general del Consejo de 26 de Agosto de 

1767, sobre comercio de Yucatan y Campeche. Madrid; 88-5-25. 

Informe de la contaduria general del Consejo de 22 de Diciembre 

de 1767. Madrid; 88-5-25. 

Libro de Cabildo de Tenochtitlan, 8 Marzo, 1521-10, Junio, 1525. Copy 
in the Bancroft Library. 

Nombramiento, instrucciones y papeles de aviso, que se dio al visitador 
general Dn Joseph de Galvez. Madrid, March, 1765; 88-5-20. 

Pretension de Joseph Galvez para una beca de colegial en el colegio 
seminario de San Sebastian, Malaga. Malaga, July 11, 1735; Archivo del 
Obispado de Malaga. 

Providencias de Galvez en su visita. Breve noticia de las principales 
expediciones y providencias de visita de real hacienda que promovio Dn 
Joseph de Galvez. A. G. de I. Estado, Aud. de Mex., Legajo 15, No. 36. 

Eada, Pedro de, Extracto de los principales puntos de la correspon- 
dencia particular de Eada con el Baylio Arriaga desde Nueva Espana. 
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Eevillagigedo, Conde de, Dictamen que en cumplimiento de Eeales 
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General y Publico, 54, Num. 402. 

Eubi, Marques de, Dictamen sobre la mejor colocacion de los presidios 
en las Provincias internas de Nueva Espana. Tacubaya, April 10, 1768; 

Velarde, Jose Antonio, Eespuesta fiscal sobre las facultades del visi- 
tador Joseph de Galvez. Mexico, December 22, 1765; 88-5-21. 

Verger, Eafael, and others, Correspondence with Manuel Lanz de Casa- 
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Villarroel, Hipolito, Justa repulsa del reglamento de intendencias de 
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bieron tomarse con anticipacion para que fuese menos dificil el estable- 
cimiento, y reglas que se prescriben para que pueda ser util al rey y a los 
vasallos. Sirve tambien de Apendice a las Enfermedades Politicas y 
Eemedios para su Curacion, del mismo autor. Mexico, 1787; contemporary 
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Viniegra, Juan Manuel de, Sobre Galvez en America. The second part 
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que . . . Galvez . . . hizo a la peninsula de California, probincias de 
Sonora y Nueva Vizcaya. Madrid, June 10, 1771. A. H. N. Estado, Legajo 
2845, 1773. 

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404 Appendix 


Instructions to Jose de Galvez 

Instruction Keservada, March 14, 1765i 

The King: Don Joseph Galvez, of my Council, Alcalde de mi Casa y 
Corte, and honorary minister with seniority of the Council of the Indies; 
notwithstanding that I am well satisfied with the zeal, activity, prudence, 
and disinterest with which the branches and revenues of my royal patri- 
mony are managed by my viceroy of New Spain and by the ministers of 
my real hacienda, the governors, and other subordinates who serve under 
their orders, it being necessary, on account of the large sums needed in 
attending to the obligations of my royal crown, to exhaust all means 
which may appear conducive to increasing as much as possible the income 
from the revenues to the end that the burden of imposing new contri- 
butions may be avoided, and to collect all legitimate duties as legally 
provided without altering established practice or dispensing voluntary 
favors, and to prevent abuses and all superfluous expenses not absolutely 
indispensable for the best administration of the revenues: 

I have deemed it convenient to my royal service to name you, Don 
Joseph Galvez — a minister in whom I have entire satisfaction and confi- 
dence, able, zealous, and skilled in the management of revenues — that 
you may, in the capacity of visitor-general of all the branches, revenues, 
and duties, which in any form appertain to my real hacienda within the 
jurisdiction of the kingdom of New Spain, take cognizance of all of 
them, examine their proceeds, expenses, balances, and the whereabouts of 
their funds; demand any arrears in which the administrators, treasurers, 
lessees of revenues, or other persons who have managed rents, may be to 
my real hacienda ; and regulate the system and management with which the 
revenues are to be administered in future, reducing expenses and salaries 
which can and ought to be lowered or abolished, so that the balances be 
not dissipated by unnecessary expense, but made more effective to their 
destined ends. 

I grant you for all this, and for all that is to be expressed, the powers 
and jurisdiction which you need to give your commission entire fulfill- 
ment. To this end I desire that my viceroy and captain-general of New 
Spain shall take all measures which you ask and give you the assistance 
you need; and on your part, you will see to the punctual fulfillment of 
the following articles: 

i A. G. I., 136-5-3. 

Appendix 405 

I. As soon as you arrive at Vera Cruz you will forward the despatches 
which you carry for the viceroy, in which he is advised of your com- 
mission, that he may in consequence thereof issue the corresponding orders 
to the tribunals, ministers, officers, and servants of the revenues and other 
rents pertaining to my royal patrimony, in order that they may recognize 
you as such visitor-general and give you all information and documents 
which you require for the discharge of your duty, and may govern them- 
selves in conformity with such dispositions as you may make. As soon 
as you receive the orders from the viceroy you will begin to exercise your 
functions in Vera Cruz; when you have finished there, you will proceed 
to Mexico to continue your duties, acting always in the utmost harmony 
with my viceroy. 

II. In Vera Cruz you will inform yourself in minute detail what 
custom-houses there are for the examination of goods which come in 
single ships [i.e., not in the fleet], and what duties they pay; with what 
formalities their cargoes are registered; whether the duties are collected 
according to tariff schedules, on the bills of lading, or upon appraisal; 
whether these duties are managed in conformity with royal orders; 
whether the rules under which they are managed conform to that wise 
administration which should be found in them; whether there is a proper 
system of accounting; whether guias are given with the clearness and 
distinctiveness necessary for the safe transportation of goods; whether 
the goods are marked [si se marchaman], so that it shall be evident wher- 
ever they are found that they have passed through the custom-house, thus 
eliminating the frauds which might be committed if marking were not 
enforced; whether there are custom-houses of counter-register, and whether 
proper examinations are made in them to prevent smuggling; and whether 
such precautions are taken both by land and by sea as are necessary to 
the security of my royal revenues. 

In all that you find proper, you will make no change; but in all that 
you find demanding it, you will make correction, giving rules and instruc- 
tions by which the custom-houses are in future to be governed, to the end 
that, without injury to commerce, the greatest income may be derived 
through the correction of all abuses which may have grown up in the 
management of the revenues. It is understood, however, that if any 
measure be deemed necessary which changes the practice established by 
earlier orders, you shall not take such measure yourself, but refer it to 
the viceroy, to whom you shall make manifest the reasons which justify it. 

III. Since Vera Cruz is the point through which all the commerce of 
New Spain must pass, it is indispensable that you take as many precau- 
tions as you think necessary to prevent introduction of goods brought in 
single ships without passing through the custom-house established, where 
they must be marked so that, with the marchamo and the proper guia they 

406 Instructions to Jose de Gdlvez 

may be lawfully introduced, and all goods not so formally marked may be 
confiscated as having been smuggled. 

IV. Goods, effects, and products which go in the fleet demand a different 
inspection; for, although they are discharged in Vera Cruz, no duties are 
levied on them in those custom-houses, nor do their variety and other 
characteristics permit their formal inspection. You must therefore ob- 
serve with care whether the bales, packages, parcels, boxes, barrels, and 
bundles conform with the entries made at Cadiz and have the same 
measures, marks, and addresses. If you find they do so correspond, you 
will consider your examination complete. But if you find bales, packages, 
parcels, etc., which are not included in the entries, these must be taken 
to the custom-house to be examined, and the goods, products, and effects 
which they contain must be confiscated as having been embarked at Cadiz 
without payment of the duties required by law. 

V. As the goods brought by the fleet are carried to the Jalapa fair, it 
is fitting that you take note of the regulations observed in their transpor- 
ation, the form and circumstances under which the fair is held, with what 
safeguards against damage and fraud the goods bought there are trans- 
ported to the various destinations to which their owners send them, and 
in what manner the duties are guaranteed on goods which remain at 
Jalapa unsold. If you find that the established regulations prevent all 
fraud, and offer security to the owners for transporting their goods, you 
will make no changes, but if you find the regulations insufficient, and that 
others, entailing inconsiderable disturbance to commerce, ought to be 
established whereby both these ends may be secured, you will make note 
of them, and, as soon as you arrive at Mexico, you will suggest them to 
the viceroy in order that he may issue suitable orders for putting such 
regulations at once into operation. 

VI. In Vera Cruz, as well as in the entire viceroyalty of New Spain, 
you will take cognizance of all the branches and revenues which appertain 
to my real hacienda. They are: the salinas, tercias [?wvenos], naipes, 
alumbres, minas, fiesta de gdllos, cordobanes, buceos de perlas, nieve, pulques, 
tributos de las parcialidades, bulas, papel sellado, alcdbala, servicio real de 
los Indios, lanzas and medias anatas, with all other duties and imposts 
which in any manner or form belong to my real hacienda. 2 You will, 
without the slightest exception, examine them branch by branch, discover 
their origin, see whether the collections conform with what is prescribed, 
how and by whom they are managed and under what rules, what incomes 
they produce, what expenses they carry and whether these are legitimate or 

2 As most of the terms used in the list herewith given are incapable of 
adequate translation in the brief form suitable for simple enumeration, the 
original Spanish word is retained for each of them. They have all been fully 
described in the body of the preceding text. See particularly Chapter X. 

Appendix 407 

ought to be abolished, how much net proceeds remain to my real hacienda, 
and whether such proceeds have been placed in treasuries as they should be. 

VII. If the collections in each kind or branch of revenue do not cor- 
respond to what is prescribed, you will ascertain the cause; if you find 
in the collections a continuous, uniform practice among all taxpayers 
whereby the existing system has come to have the sanction of custom, 
you will make no changes; but if you find that discrepancy has arisen 
from abuses which are not to be tolerated, and that equality is not ob- 
served, some persons being excused from payments which are required 
from others, you will see to it that the duties are collected in conformity 
with the orders under which the specific branch was created. 

VIII. You will ascertain by whom and under what rules each branch 
is administered; and if you recognize that the persons in charge of it 
have performed their duties with zeal and integrity, you will commend 
them to so continue; but if you find, and it is proven, that they have been 
remiss in their duties and have not merited the confidence reposed in 
them in matters of importance, to the detriment of my real hacienda, you 
will remove them from their employment and put others in their stead 
who will serve me with zeal and in a proper manner. 

IX. If you find that the rules and instructions under which each branch 
is managed and controlled are suited to its best administration and con- 
servation, and with the proper accounting and order which should exist 
in it, you will see that these rules are strictly observed; but if you find 
that they are not such as are calculated to attain the proper end, you will 
form others to be in future observed in the management of the branch, 
whereby the collection of the lawful duties shall be assured, frauds pre- 
vented, and the accounting so arranged that malversation is prevented. 

X. You will examine the subordinate employees who are assigned to 
administration and accounting in each branch, and if there are only those 
who are indispensable, you will make no changes; but if you find that 
their number is excessive, or that there are some employees who ought 
to be removed, you will leave only those who may be necessary for the 
good of the service, suppressing such positions and employments as are 
superfluous; if the incumbents have performed their duties satisfactorily, 
you will remember their merits and appoint them to other positions where 
there may be need, in which they may be useful to my service. 

XI. You will examine the income of each branch, and ascertain whether 
it corresponds to the impost; if so, you will make no changes; but if they 
do not correspond, you will discover the reason for the diminution and 
take measures suitable for increasing the revenue as much as possible, 
whether it be leased to contractors or administered by crown officers. 

XII. You will endeavor to inform yourself minutely concerning the 
running expenses of each branch, and whether there is any overloading; 

408 Instructions to Jose de Gdlvez 

if you find expenses normal you will allow them to continue, but if they 
are excessive you will reduce them to what is indispensable, and remove 
any overloading which may consume my royal revenues. 

XIII. You will obtain information as to what net proceeds of any 
branch are credited to my real hacienda, and whether they have been 
properly placed in treasuries, and you will see that any funds undeposited 
shall at once be deposited. 

XIV. If any administrators or other subordinates who may have man- 
aged my revenues and funds shall not have given an account of their 
office, you will cause them to do so promptly and satisfactorily, seeing 
that the balances which they acknowledge are placed at once in my 
treasuries, and when their accounts are closed, they shall do the same 
with any other balances which may be apparent. 

XV. The greater part of the revenues which belong to me in New 
Spain being leased, you will examine the contract of each one, to ascer- 
tain its conditions, prices, and terms of payment, and whether the lessees 
have fulfilled the terms of their obligations. 

XVI. If the conditions are not suitable to the character of the reve- 
nues, you will make other just ones adapted to facilitating lawful collec- 
tion without extortion (giving for this purpose the necessary assistance 
to lessees of revenues), so that future awards of revenue contracts 
may be governed thereby; but you will make no change in existing con- 
tracts unless they contain grievous, irritating conditions (if such condi- 
tions exist you will correct them), or unless the contracts have been 
plainly broken (in which case they ought to be discontinued), or unless 
they were not made with legal formality, having been arranged for by 
extension of previous contracts or by other means without having been 
offered at public auction, as they should be and as the law provides. If 
any contracts have this defect, they ought to be terminated if any preju- 
dice to my real hacienda results from them, although in these points you 
will proceed after hearing the parties to the contracts, so that you may 
decide equitably and according to law. 

XVII. It is essential that lessees of revenues be obliged to render 
account of the income from the revenue or branch which is under their 
care, and though these accounts are usually rendered in a faulty manner, 
yet by means of them and through other information which you may 
obtain you will be able to form a judgment as to whether the price of the 
contract is proportionate to the income which the revenue ought to pro- 
duce if properly administered by crown officers; such knowledge being 
obtained, whenever a contract expires, it shall not be let again unless the 
price is just, considering the proper gain which the lessee ought to^make 
to repay him for his risk in the investment of his capital to obtain the 
contract, and for his labor. If you cannot secure such a price, you will 

Appendix 409 

arrange to have any such branch administered by my real hacienda, if 
upon prudent consideration you find that that method would be more 
profitable than leasing the revenue. 

XVIII. You will ascertain whether lessees of revenues have deposited 
the payments for their contracts in the treasury at the stipulated times; 
if they have not complied with this obligation, you will see that they do 
comply without delay, and that they are prompt in succeeding payments; 
in default thereof, you will attach [poner intervention en] the revenue 
which is at their charge and risk, in order to secure my real hacienda; 
for whatever arrears and deficits they may be chargeable, you will pro- 
ceed against their estates and those of their securities, according to law. 

XIX. The revenue of alcabalas is collected in New Spain at the rate 
of six per cent; it is leased by villas and partidos, and it is necessary that 
you examine carefully the manner, the cases, and the circumstances in 
which it is levied, and the increase which, judging by the volume of 
business in the various sections, it may be made to yield either by regular 
lease of the revenue or by crown administration if there are no bidders 
to offer a just price, or by inducing the towns to take the collection under 
their care at an equitable figure, so that they may bear a share in the 
expenses of administration, which would otherwise be borne by the crown. 

XX. The [condition of] the revenue from salt renders it desirable 
that you investigate the salt works and the duties on salt consumed 
[consumos] to ascertain whether the income derived from them is propor- 
tionate [to the production] ; you will ascertain whether the concession, 
under licenses, to various towns to work their salt deposits, as a necessity 
to their existence, is, through abuses, prejudicial to my real hacienda; 
you will also determine what measures ought to be taken so that, if the 
privilege is continued to those towns, any fraud which may exist shall be 

XXI. The tercias or novenos which belong to my real hacienda ought 
to constitute a branch of much importance; by the latest contracts they 
produce very little. You will therefore endeavor to obtain an exact state- 
ment of what the tithes amount to within the confines of the several arch- 
bishoprics, bishoprics, and abbacies, in order to proceed with leasing or 
administering the tithes with full knowledge of what this branch can 
produce in a quinquennium. 

XXII. The manufacture of powder is also leased. The scarcity of that 
article and its high price demand especial consideration, so that due care 
of the revenue may be taken by promoting as much as possible the gath- 
ering of saltpetre and the manufacture of powder, and that the supply shall 
equal the demand and the public be supplied as economically as may be. 
To this end you will ascertain how many quintals of powder are manu- 
factured, and how much it would be possible to manufacture, judging 

410 Instructions to Jose de Gdlvez 

from the amount of saltpetre which can be obtained; what amount of 
powder is needed for my service; the quality and price of that which is 
furnished to me; how many quintals are sold to the public, and at what 
price they are sold in the monopolies. These particulars you will ascer- 
tain, so that you may form a judgment as to whether this revenue, if well 
safeguarded and governmentally administered, would not yield a larger 
income than at present. 

XXIII. The privilege of manufacturing playing-cards is also leased, 
and it is necessary that you inform yourself minutely concerning the 
management of this monopoly, determining the cost to the lessee of each 
pack of cards according to the various qualities thereof, the number of 
packs consumed, and the prices at which they are sold, so that you may 
estimate the revenue which ought to be derived from this source. 

XXIV. The revenue or duty on snow is generally leased; it is neces- 
sary that you ascertain the cost of collecting and storing snow, what quantity 
is consumed, and at what prices it is sold, in order that you may learn 
what annual income ought to be yielded either by administration or lease. 

XXV. The branch of pulques is of the greatest importance, and there- 
fore demands that you pay particular attention to it to ascertain the 
quantity consumed in each town and to increase the revenue as much as 
possible either by administering or leasing it. 

XXVI. Sales of dispensations under the bulls of the Santa Cruzada 
are also awarded by contract under excessively disproportionate premiums, 
and the payment and accounting for those that are sold are made at very 
long intervals; therefore, in order that this [pontificial] grace may prove 
more serviceable to the holy ends to which it is directed, you will endeavor 
to reduce the premiums and shorten the intervals of payment and account- 
ing, at the same time examining the method of collecting the superfluous 
dispensations, so that you may prevent the customary frauds which char- 
acterize their collection; however, in this matter, and in that of the publi- 
cation of the bull, you will proceed entirely in accord with the sub- 
delegates of the Cruzada, so as not to come into conflict with the powers 
which these officers exercise. 

XXVII. In all the other branches, the minas de plata, cobre, alumbres, 
the fiestas de gallos, cordobanes, buceos de perlas, servicio real de los Indios, 
lanzas, medias anatas, papel sellado, and whatever others may belong to my 
real hacienda, you will take cognizance of their actual gross receipts, and 
of the greatest income which they may be made to produce, according to 
their quality and character if managed by rules which you deem adapted 
to their best administration and conservation. At the same time you 
will ascertain whether there are defalcations in any of these branches; 
if so, you will see to their proper redintegration. 

XXVIII. It being impossible for you to examine personally the man- 
agement of all the revenues throughout the vast regions which lie within 

Appendix 411 

your commission, I grant you authority to name visitors who, as your 
substitutes under the orders, rules, and instructions which you may give 
them, shall examine the condition and management of the revenues in 
the various localities to which you may send them. These visitors shall 
give you punctual account of whatever may be conducive to the better 
administration of the revenues, and of whatever deficits may exist in 
them, so that, in view of their reports, you may give whatever orders you 
consider proper to render my service conformable to my royal purpose. 

XXIX. In all judicial affairs concerning the general visitation of the 
branches of the revenues and the royal incomes you will act as a ministro 
togado y de justicia, with the independence, reservation of authority and 
exclusive jurisdiction which, under the laws of the Indies, belong to the 
nature of your commission, by virtue of which your decisions cannot be 
challenged. If appeal is taken from your definitive judgments in those 
cases and within such periods as you must legally concede, you will bring 
them before my person, in conformity with the orders which have been 
promulgated for affairs of real hacienda. 

XXX. You will take cognizance of the propios y arbitrios of the towns, 
and, in conformity with my merciful and just purposes, which are ex- 
plained in the Instruction given for the management of those taxes in 
Spain, you will see that an accounting is made of them, that expenses are 
regulated, superfluous ones being eliminated, and that the residues are 
applied to the reduction of the levies, so that there shall be no malver- 
sation of these public funds, which is injurious to my vassals. 

XXXI. By reason of the satisfaction which I have in your judgment 
and prudence, it is my royal will that you ascertain, with the circum- 
spection and maturity of thought demanded, whether it will be useful and 
conducive to the good of my service and of my vassals to establish one 
or more intendancies in New Spain on the same model as those of Spain, 
or with some limitations or amplifications. You will, according to your 
judgment, in view of the actual circumstances, government, and extent 
of that empire, represent to me what you deem most conducive to the 
good of my service and of my people. 

XXXII. In order to assure good method, administration, management, 
and security in all the branches of revenue, and that these may yield all 
possible increase without injury to my vassals, for the purpose of meeting 
the growing expenses of New Spain on account of new troops, and other 
measures which I have taken for the better protection of those domin- 
ions, it will be very desirable for you, during such time as you may reside 
in Mexico, to confer with the viceroy in a junta which you should hold 
every week concerning the best method of securing the proposed ends and 
the measures which may be deemed conducive to them; for these measures 
not being reserved, and having no reference to the visitation, the zeal of 

412 Instructions to Jose de Gdlvez 

my viceroy will be enlisted in their authorization, and he will concur 
efficaciously in the promotion of my interests and the improvement of my 

XXXIII. Finally, you must endeavor to proceed in the discharge of 
your commission in accord and harmony with my viceroy as far as pos- 
sible, and you will follow similar procedure with those other ministers and 
subordinates who have performed their duties. And in view of the great 
confidence which I have in your prudence, uprightness, and fitness in an 
affair which so intimately concerns my real hacienda and the good of my 
vassals, I desire, and very especially charge you, that all your measures 
shall be directed solely to the service of both Majesties, without injury 
or offence to any one. I do command you that, if in any matter included 
in your grave duties you think serious difficulty may follow any changes, 
you will report them to me in detail, that I may in view thereof act 
according to my pleasure. 

Given at El Pardo, March 14, 1765. 

I the King. 

This is a copy of the original. 

Don Julian de Arriaga. 


Eoyal Order, March 26, 1765^ 

By reason of the satisfaction which the king has in your zeal, dis- 
interestedness, and intelligence, he has resolved that you shall pass to 
the kingdom of New Spain as visitor-general of all the royal revenues. 
To this end his Majesty has deigned to order sent to you the enclosed 
Instruction signed by his royal hand, in which are contained the Articles 
which you are to observe in the management of this commission. I am 
sending it to you that you may, being instructed as to its contents, put 
into execution all that it contains when you have arrived at that kingdom. 

I also enclose to you the cedula in which his Majesty commands the 
officers of the treasury of Mexico to pay the salaries of yourself and the 
other employees who go to aid you which he has been pleased to assign. 
It is also his royal wish that Don Dionisio Azmero, Don Dionisio de 
Murga, and Don Manuel de Aldama, who are now in that kingdom, having 
gone thither with Don Francisco de Armona, shall serve with the salaries 
which are assigned to them in their commissions, as you may find con- 
venient. A lawyer whom Armona took from Cadiz is to be returned to 
these kingdoms if you do not consider him useful for employment in the 
duties which may arise. 

His Majesty also desires that, although the comisario de guerra Don 
Jacinto Espinosa has gone [to New Spain] and should continue as director 

A. G. I., 88-5-20. 

Appendix 413 

of the tobacco revenue, you shall make use of him in other branches of 
hacienda in which he may be serviceable on account of his intelligence, 
capability and knowledge. To this end he is given the proper advice in 
the enclosed order. 

The viceroy of that kingdom is advised to treat and confer with you 
on the matter of forming settlements in the provinces in suitable places 
with the idle, undesirable people who are in Mexico and other large 
towns; you will attend to this matter with the zeal and care for which 
you are so highly esteemed. 

His Majesty expects from your prudence and activity that you will 
devote yourself with the greatest vigor to the punctual fulfillment of his 
royal purposes, reporting to him by my hand whatever you shall do or 
may happen in the important affairs which he has confided to your care 
and which may be worthy of his royal decision. God guard you many 

Senor Don Joseph de Galvez Gallardo. 

The palace, March 26, 1765. 

El Bailio Julian de Arriaga. 


Copies of the Two Instructions Which the Council Issued to Don 

Joseph de Galvez Under Dates of the 14th and 16th 

of March, 1765* 


Instruction which should be observed by Don Joseph Galvez, of the 
Council of His Majesty, Alcalde de Casa y Corte, and honorary min- 
ister with seniority in the Royal and Supreme Council of the Indies, in 
the general visitation which he is to make of the royal audiencias and 
tribunals of justice of the kingdoms and provinces of New Spain, in 
fulfillment of that which his Majesty has been pleased to command by 
his royal decree of February, 1765. 

As soon as he arrives at Vera Cruz, he shall present the royal de- 
spatches to the viceroy and the royal audiencia in order that they may 
be informed of his commission and obey and fulfill the orders; by virtue 
of these orders he shall publish his general visitation to all the oidores, 
alcaldes del crimen of the real sola, to the fiscals, and to all the subordi- 
nates of both courts. 

He shall name a notary of the visitation satisfactory to himself, who 
shall perform the required notorial duties, assigning him such salary as he 
shall see fit. 

He shall formulate an edict for the publication of the visitation and 
cause it to be posted in the public places of Mexico and in the rest of 

The two instructions are taken from copies in A. G. I., 88-5-20. 

414 Instructions to Jose de Gdlvez 

the cities and places of the district of that royal audiencia; [to the out- 
lying places] he shall send the edict by couriers, that they may come to 
the notice of every one. 

He shall formulate an interrogatory by which witnesses who may be 
called shall be questioned. Such witnesses shall be warned that they shall 
under no pretext disclose their names or their depositions, and that it is 
not to be a part of their obligation to prove what they may say, but only 
to tell the truth. 

He shall have power to require all the autos and papers which he may 
deem necessary from the notarial archives of the cdmara and other public 
offices; these papers shall be delivered to him upon his acknowledgment 
of their receipt. 

He shall oblige all the ministros togados of that audiencia [of Mexico] 
to show whether they have complied with the laws and ordinances to the 
observance of which they have been sworn ever since their installation in 

He will inform himself whether they have attended and do attend the 
daily sessions of the audiencia at the hours prescribed by ordinance; and 
he will so inform himself as to their attendance at the acuerdos. 

[He will discover] whether they violate the secrecy which they are 
required to observe concerning the votes taken in the acuerdos by pub- 
lishing the judicial decisions before sentences are signed. 

He will inform himself whether there have been introduced any abuses 
under the guise of procedure which are prejudicial to the upright admin- 
istration of justice and directly opposed to the provisions of the laws. 

He will inform himself also whether there have been any excesses 
upon occasions when ministros togados have been sent out of the city upon 
any commissions of the royal service, wherein they have caused unneces- 
sary expense to the places through which they have passed by allowing 
themselves to be entertained and courted. 

Whether they have received in the way of expense accounts more 
salary than that provided by ley 4, titulo 16, libro 2 of the Becopilacion. 

Whether they have permitted themselves to be corrupted by receiving 
gifts from litigants, thereby causing injustice; or whether they have 
treated litigants with discourtesy. 

He will inform himself whether they have kept and do keep the laws 
and royal orders which so strictly provide for and command the protec- 
tion and good treatment of the Indians. 

Whether they have tolerated or feigned not to notice collection of 
fees from the Indians by the lawyers, procurators, or counsellors at law 
[relatores] of the audiencia, when they are assigned (as they are) salaries 
from the half real which the Indians are taxed to this end [of paying for 
legal assistance]. 

Appendix 415 

Whether they have permitted the alcaldes mayores and governors to 
distribute to the Indians more merchandise and goods than they can or 
ought to accept, charging them higher prices for such goods than have been 
permitted in accordance with the latest royal orders. 

He will proceed against the fiscals of that royal audiencia, if he finds 
that either of them, the civil fiscal or the criminal fiscal, has not gone 
to the defense of the Indians, protecting and aiding them and making 
for them the representations to which he is obligated by his office. 

He will also proceed against the fiscals if he ascertains that they have 
not lent their principal attention to matters pertaining to real hacienda, 
making the promotion of such affairs the peculiar function of their office 
with the same assiduity as in matters in which the interest of the public 
is concerned. 

He will ascertain the condition of the juzgado de bienes de difuntos, 
its cases and executions, and he will find out whether the oidor who is 
named in turn every two years as judge of such estates has complied with 
that which is commanded by the laws of titulo 32, libro 2, of the Leyes 
de Indias, procuring the most prompt remedy for any excess or omission 
which he may notice in the hearing and determination of suits concerning 
the estates of deceased persons. 

He will ascertain whether abuse has been committed by any of the 
subordinate ministers in maliciously retarding the business of the courts, 
availing themselves of this method to rob litigants. 

Whether they charge higher fees than those provided by schedule for 
the instruments which they issue to parties to suits. 

He will examine the archives and judicial records to ascertain whether 
the papers, instruments, and royal cedulas are kept in the offices method- 
ically and in order, so that they may be readily made use of when occasion 

And finally, he will ascertain whether the subordinate officers comply 
with the provisions of the laws of libro 2 in the titulos which speak of 
the obligations of the subordinate officers of the audiencias. 

He will investigate the state of the income from penas de cdmara y 
gastos de justicia, and determine whether the distribution of this fund is 
made in accordance with the commands of titulo 25, libro 2 of the Laws 
of the Indies. 

He will examine the autos of the last visitation, of the audiencia of 
Mexico, made by the Inquisidor Don Francisco Garzaron, and ascertain 
whether the audiencia has complied with the autos, and the orders for 
proper procedure and the instructions for their observance, left by him. 

And lastly, in the specific charges which may lie against any of the 
ministers who are to be visited, whether togados or subordinates, he shall 
bring such charges and proceed to their proof in conformity with equity 

416 Instructions to Jose de Gdlvez 

and the Laws of the Indies, admitting appeals wherever permissible, to 
this Council, proceeding in all things with the maturity and propriety 
which justify the satisfaction which his Majesty has in him; and, as one 
who is well informed, doing his duty, notwithstanding there may be in 
this instruction some point omitted which ought to be expressed. 
Madrid, March 14, 1765. 

Don Manuel Patlno. 


Instruction which Don Joseph Galvez, of the Council of his Majesty, 
Alcalde of his Casa y Corte, and honorary minister with seniority, is to 
observe in the general visitation which he is to make of the tribunal 
and cajas reales of the kingdom of New Spain, in compliance with what 
his Majesty has been pleased to command by his royal decree of the 
20th of February of this year. 

The general visitation of the tribunals of real hacienda being directed 
to the discovery of excesses which may have occurred or are occurring 
in the regular business of the revenues, the collection of the current 
product of their accounts, and the increase of their income, he shall in- 
clude all the oficiales reales, contadores, and any other, ministers whatso- 
ever who may have had or who have under their charge, in Mexico and 
the other cities, ports, and towns in the kingdom of New Spain, the 
administration of or any interest in the branches of real hacienda. 

He will ascertain whether their administration has been good or bad, 
proceeding to the punishment of those who shall prove to be guilty, bring- 
ing against them the suitable charges, hearing their defense, and ad- 
mitting appeal where permissible in law, to this Council. 

He shall present the despatches and royal cedulas to the viceroy and 
the royal audiencia, that they may render obedience and punctual com- 
pliance; he will then begin his general visitation of the subtreasuries, 
choosing the most opportune and fitting time, so that the visitation may 
be made and completed in a manner that shall secure the double benefit 
of better service to his Majesty and to the public interests, and so that 
there shall not be caused that confusion which has resulted from other 
visitations, which were as a result of such confusion left incomplete and 
consequently without having caused the application of the just and 
legitimate measures provided for the better management and government 
of real hacienda and the increase of its revenues. 

He will lend his particular attention to the equipment and working 
of the mines, their condition, the care taken in the collection of the royal 
fifths, and whether the supplies of quicksilver are furnished to the mines 

s The word tribunal is here used to designate the administrative offices of 
real hacienda, in which semi-judicial affairs were conducted. 

Appendix 417 

as they are necessary, and by what means the production of precious 
metals may be made more copious. 

Assuming that this minister is aware of the ends to which his com- 
mission is directed, and that a detailed instruction would be useless, 
inasmuch as all that concerns the method of keeping accounts, collecting 
balances, the obligations of contadores and oficiales reales is contained in 
the thirty titulos of libro 8 of the Becopilacion de Indias ; and inasmuch as 
he will also have to examine the ordinances, royal cedulas and orders 
which have been communicated to the tribunals of real hacienda, under 
the terms of which he will have to note and observe the fulfillment of 
their obligations by all classes of ministers of real hacienda, their tri- 
bunals and offices, and in which perfect rules are given for everything 
that is to be observed and done: it is for these reasons held superfluous 
to copy into this instruction such a large number of royal laws and 
ordinances, it being sufficient to leave the matter to the acknowledged 
intelligence and prudent discretion of this minister, who will direct his 
zeal and attention to bearing all those laws and ordinances in mind, in 
order that he may operate in conformity with their provisions, avoiding 
confusion and not failing to accomplish the good, effects desired, namely, 
that actually proven frauds are punished, and that unsettled accounts 
may be closed by the collection of any balances which may appear due. 

He will see to it that sums derived from the settlement of suits, either 
by way of restitution, advances, and deposit with real hacienda, or in 
[punishment of] fraud, or from closing of old accounts or current ones 
in all branches of real hacienda, or from monetary fines imposed by the 
visitation, or in any other form whatsoever, shall be deposited in the 
royal treasuries with distinct expression of their origin; and in the same 
manner, with separate expression of their origin, he shall remit all such 
sums as occasion offers on national ships [navios de bandera] to these 
kingdoms [Spain], enclosing in his letters to his Majesty accounts of 
moneys sent for the royal treasure. 

Finally, he shall name at his discretion a notary and an accountant 
of the general visitation of the treasuries, who shall be skillful and 
capable for the most perfect transaction of business; he shall also name 
an alguacil who shall execute the orders that shall be given. The salaries 
of these officers shall be paid according to schedule from the moneys 
collected as a result of the visitation. In all things else which may 
present themselves for the better and most perfect fulfillment of his 
commission he will use such measures and that judgment which his 
prudence may dictate for the better service of his Majesty, the good of 
his vassals, and the greater advancement of the royal interests, working 
in all things in conformity with law. 

Madrid, March 16, 1765. Don MaNUEL Pati * ' 


Acaponeta (Tepic), 155, 366. 

Acapulco, defenses, 43 and note 
53; cotton, 54; custom-house, 80, 
172; revenues, 79; subtreasury, 
79, 81, 210, 306; trade, 110, 111, 
296, 303-10, 361-2; castellano, 
166; freeport, 242; visitation, 
296, 303-10; duties collected, 
361-2; see Oriental trade; Phil- 
ippine Islands; Manila galleon. 

Accountants, 68, 115, 125, 193, 195, 
197, 299, 301, 305, 331, 326; 335; 
see Contador, Treasury officials. 

Acompanado, defined, 119; 123. 

Acordada, La, described, 65-6, 150, 
159, 301, 359, 382. 

Acuerdo, see Eeal acuerdo. 

Adaes, presidio, 47. 

Adelantado, defined, 86; 87, 102. 

Administration, centralization of, 
14; reform of, 16, 17, 20; ma- 
chinery for local, 49, 50, 60, 61; 
of New Spain, 57-82; of real 
hacienda, 76-82, 111, 125, 126, 
127, 178, 183, 192-3, 312-388; 
through the visitation, 86, 87, 
92, 98, 102, 120; corruption of, 
105; Spanish theory and policy 
of, 130, 156, 168, 197, 209; mu- 
nicipal, 222-3, 225-6, 296-303, 
and note 7, p. 299 ; sale of offices, 
330-2; see also Agrarian ques- 
tion, Alcaldes, Audiencia, Col- 
onies, Colonial policy, Coman- 
dancia general, Commerce, Con- 
sulado, Courts, Cuerpo de mineria, 
E?icomiendas, French influence, 
Frontier, Fiscal, Governor, Mili- 

tia, Mint, Missions, Oidores, 
Orry, Real hacienda, Reforms 
of Galvez, Revillagigedo, Smug- 
gling, Treasury officials, Viceroy, 
Visitor, Visitation. 

Administration of justice, 86-90, 
96-7, 99, 111, 120, 126, 127, 153, 
197, 309-10, 319. 

Administration of revenues, 15, 
25, 61, 78, 111, 126-8, 130-1, 145, 
149, 150, 162, 173, 178, 183, 190, 
197, 208, 210, 211, 262, 301, 312, 
313, 315, 320, 331, 332, 345, 346, 
347, 352, 354, 355, 356, 361, 363, 
note 96, 365, 367, 369, 372-4, 375, 
379, 382-3, see Revenues. 

Administrator, 188, 192, 195; see 

Ad valorem duties, 32, 33, 34, 360, 
361, 362, 387; see Alcaoala, Al- 
mirantazgo, Almojarifazgo, Ar- 
mada, Averia. 

Agrarian question, 52, 255, 256, 
259-61, 339, note 52; see Censo, 
Composition, Lands, Tierras. 

Agriculture, in Spain, 23; in Span- 
ish America, 28; in New Spain, 
53-5, 70; favored by free com- 
merce, 55, 385; duty on flour, 
178, 206-7; fostered by land- 
grants, 257-61, 286-7, 339; 
tithes, 349-53; mortmain, 190, 
206; produce exempt from alca- 
oala, 201, 357; see Cacao, Cochi- 
neal, Cotton, Indigo, Flour, 
Pulque, Tithes, Tobacco, Viticul- 
ture, Wheat, Wine. 

Aguas Calientes, state, 49. 



Aguas del Venado, 330. 

Aguilar, Marcos de, justicia mayor, 
1526, 96. 

Ahuacatlan, partido of Guadala- 
jara, 155. 

Aix-la-Chapelle, Treaty, 15. 

Alaman, Lucas, cited, 71, 73. 

Alamos, subtreasury, 81, 268, 287; 
alcaldia mayor, 269; mentioned, 
274, 275, 278, 281, 283, 284, 285, 
286, 287. 

Alaska, 245. 

Alberoni, Cardinal, 15. 

Albornoz, Eodrigo de, contador of 
Mexico, 78. 

Acabala, denned, 73; 80, 154, 162, 
163, 173, 174, 175, 176, 178, 179, 
180, 182, 188, 190, 192, 199, 200, 
201, 210, 219, 224, 324, 341, 343, 
346, 347, 353-7; alcabala de mar, 
187, 188, 189; administration, 
357; evasion of, 190, 356; pro- 
duct of, 357; exemptions from, 
355; in the Mexican Kepublic, 
357-8, note 84; not removed 
under free commerce, 363; on 
salt, 367 ; increased in war-time, 
371; collection indicative of 
prosperity, 385. 

Alcabalatorios (alcabala districts), 

Alcala, university, 3; Cortes, 86, 

Alcaldes, 63, 66, 68, 69, 86, 91, 103, 
124, 291, 322, 328; Indian, 217, 

Alcaldes de cdrceles, 68. 

Alcaldes de casa y corte, 5, 6, 36, 
111, 134. 

Alcaldes de corte, 61, 62, 110. 

Alcaldes del crimen, 60, 62, 91, 143, 

Alcaldes may ores, 60, 94, 102, 113, 

129, 144, 150, 215, 216, 217, 218, 

220, 224-5 and note 23, 226, 227, 

290-1, 328, 333, 337; see Alcal- 

dias mayores. 
Alcaldes ordinarios, 61, 91, 217, 

222, 291. 
Alcaldes veedores, 86. 
Alcaldias mayores, 49, 50, 269, 323, 

325, 354. 
Alcaldias menores, 48. 
Alcances de cuentas, 314, note 1, 

denned, 368-9. 
Aldama, Manuel de, assistant to 

Galvez, 135, 136. 
Alegria, Martin Jose de, secretary 

of the viceroyalty, 230, note 27. 
Alexander VI, Pope, 349. 
Alguacil mayor, defined, 60; 63, 68. 
Alguaciles, defined, 67, 91, 95, 109, 

Alicante, open port, 32. 
Almeria, open port, 32. 
Almirantazgo, defined, 192; 314, 

note 1, 363, note 96, 377, note 

Almojarifazgo, 196, 314, note 1, 

341, 343, 361-4. 
Almud, defined, 258; 260. 
Alonzo XI, of Castile, 86, 353. 
Altarriba, Miguel de, intendant of 

Havana, 207. 
Alum revenue, 314, note 1, 321-2. 
Alva, Duke of, governor, Council 

of the Indies, 7. 
Amarillas, Marques de las, vice- 
roy 1755-58, 179, 196. 
America (Spanish), 5, 18, 24, 29, 

30, 32, 33, 35, 37, 38, 39, 42, 54, 

55, 77, 91, 93, 135, 187, 231, 290, 

331, 332, 339, 353. 
American smuggling with Spanish 

America, 31. 



Amonedacion, see Coinage. 

Analco, 220. 

Anclage, defined, 369; 314, note 1, 

Andalusia, 1, 27, 33, 343. 

Anian, strait, 47. 

Anne, Queen of England, 30. 

Anson, George, Lord Anson, 63, 

Antilles, 7. 

Apache, tribe, 48, 269, 277. 

Apalache, 204. 

Apam, custom-house, 80. 

Apoderados, defined, 75; 116, 310. 

Aprovechamientos, 314, note 1, de- 
fined, 368. 

Aragon, 14, 78. 

Aragorri, Simon de, 25. 

Aranda, Conde de, 5, 6. 

Arango.yti, Domingo de, fiscal of 
Guadalajara, juez de residencia 
of Cruillas, 166, 167, 168. 

Aranjuez, 10. 

Arbitrios, defined, 299, 303; see 

Arce y Echearagaray, Jose Mari- 
ano, author of the Instruction 
de Alcdbalas, 358, note 84. 

Archivo de Contratacion, Seville, 6. 

Archivo General de Simancas, 6. 

Areche, Jose Antonio, fiscal of 
Mexico, 62, 165, 239. 

Argiiello, Juan Antonio de, secre- 
tary of Galvez, 279, 281, 282. 

Ario (Michoacan), 321. 

Arispe (Sonora), 81, [242], 280, 

Arista, Mariano, president of Mex- 
ico, 1851-52, 358, note 84. 

Armada (duty), 314, note 1, 341, 
387, 360-1. 

Armada de barlovento (coast-guard 
fleet), 142, 354. 

Armona, Francisco de, visitor- 
general, 5, 133, 134, 135, 136, 
143, 144, 146. 

Armona, Matias de, 135, 147, 150, 
230, 255, 263, 364, 275, 279. 

Arrendamiento, defined, 313; see 
Leases of revenue. 

Arriaga, Bailio Julian de, Minister 
of the Indies and Marine, 6, 7, 
142, 148, 162, 176, 232, 281, 282, 
351; his instructions to Galvez, 
125-8, 132, 137, 157; opposition 
to Galvez, 132; approval of 
Galvez, 163, 171, 210, 243; 
charges against Cruillas, 165; 
his conservatism, 208; corre- 
spondence with Kada, 229-30; 
assistance to Viniegra, 281, 282. 

Arrooa, defined, 140, 144, 258, 262. 

Asiento treaty, 30. 

Assay duty (Ensaye), 314-6. 

Assayer, 315, 331. 

Ass-essor (Asesor) , 75, 78, 115, 154, 
166, 236, 239, 378. 

Assisi, St. Francis of, 279. 

"Astrea", 135. 

Asylum to criminals, 56, 65. 

Atlantic Ocean, 9, 23, 30, 31, 47, 

Audiencia, 18, 46, 49, 57, 59, 61, 
64, 72, 76, 77, 89, 91, 102, 103, 
108, 109, 208, 291, 332, 338; 
without power over visitors, 103, 
111, 113, 115, 121; visitation of, 
103-4, 115, 116, 120; relations 
with the viceroy, 290; see Beal 
acuerdo, Viceroy. 

Audiencia de los Confines, 61, note 

Audiencia de Guadalajara, 48, 62, 
63, 102, 165, 235, 244-5, 269, 324; 
its territory a proposed viceroy- 



alty, 293 ; stamped paper in, 333 ; 
tithes in, 351. 

Audiencia de Lima, 118. 

Audiencia de Mexico, 52, 60-2, 64, 
66, 72, 83, 96, 102, 103, 154, 165, 
207, 235; members prohibited 
from making conquests, 103; 
visitation of, 115, 117, 124; trib- 
ute regulated by, 324. 

Audiencia de Santo Domingo, 61, 
note 37. 

Audiencia de Sevilla, 117. 

Audiencia de Valladolid, 90. 

Auditor de guerra, 58, 166. 

Austria, 15, 42. 

Autlan, 155. 

Auto, defined, 157. 

Averia, defined, 72, 74, note 67, 
178, 179, 192, 236, 314, note 1, 
360-1, 363, note 96, 387. 

Aysa, Marques del Castillo de, 
president, audiencia de Guada- 
lajara, 63. 

Ayuntamiento, described, 60, 69; 
of Mexico, 69, 104, 208, 300-2; 
of Puebla, 158; of Oaxaca, 158; 
of San Luis Potosi, 222; of 
Guanajuato, 225; taxed for mili- 
tia uniforms, 158, 227; honorary 
regidores, 302. 

Ayutla, Plan of, 338, note 84. 

Azanza, Miguel Jose, 240, note 8, 
279, 281. 

Azmero, Dionisio, assistant to Gal- 
vez, 135, 136. 

Aztecs, 78, 324, 326. 

Bac, San Xavier del, 47. 

Bacubirito (Sinaloa), 268. 

Bajilla (Vajilla), described, 318. 

Bakers' guild (Mexico), 56, 296-8. 

Balances, see Alcances de cuentas. 

Baliente, Alonzo, escribano of the 
Cabildo de Mexico, 1526, 95. 

Ballast revenue (Lastre), 314, note 
1, 369-70. 

Balzo, Ernesto del, Conde de Gal- 
vez and Marques de Sonora, 10. 

Balzo y Caprigliano, Duke of, 10. 

Bancroft, Hubert Howe, cited, 165. 

Barbary pirates, 26. 

Barcelona, 16, 32; company, 34, 
note 46. 

Barrachma, Salvador Vicente, as- 
sistant to Galvez, 135, 136. 

Barri, Felipe, army officer, gover- 
nor of California, 226, 255. 

Barrios, defined, 61, 69, 218, 219, 

Bassare, Jose, brevet-colonel, 239. 

Basterra, Fr. Dionisio, memorial 
to Galvez, 264-6. 

Belena, Eusebio Ventura, 215; bio- 
graphical note, 244, note 14, 245, 
268, 273, 275, 276, 281, 282, 285, 

Beliardi, Abbe, agent of Choiseul, 
4, note 3, 38, 39, 40. 

Benaque (Malaga province), 2. 

Bethlehemites, 73, 167, 280, 308. 

Bienes de difuntos, described, 166. 

Bienes mostrencos, defined, 314, 
note 1, 370. 

Bilbao, open port, 32. 

Bolahos (Jalisco), 80, 81. 

Bookkeeping, in real hacienda, 81, 
335; laxity of at Vera Cruz, 173, 
194, 195, 196, 197; in municipal 
revenues, 298. 

Bourbon policies, 13-45, 114, 314; 
see Charles III; Galvez, Jose de. 

Bolton, Herbert Eugene, cited, 50. 

Branciforte, Marques de, viceroy 
1794-98, 389. 

Branding licenses, 314, note 1. 

Brandy duty, 174, 184, 185, 201, 
314, note 1, 342-3. 



Bravo, Felipe Placido, factor of 
Vera Cruz, 1767, 184. 

Brazil, 38, 40, 112. 

Brigantines, ' ' San Carlos ' ' and 
''San Antonio," 235, 236, 237, 
240, 242, 248. 

British, see English. 

Bucarely y Ursua, Antonio, vice- 
roy 1771-79, 9, 74, 152, 153, 207, 
282, 285, 291, 310, 321, 327, 351, 
355, 367, 381. 

Bucarely, Francisco, captain-gen- 
eral of Buenos Aires, 42. 

Buenavista, San Carlos de (pre- 
sidio), 271, 278. 

Buenos Aires, 42; gold and silver 
produced in, 318, note 11. 

Bulas de la Santa Cruzada, see Dis- 

Buque (reevnue), 372, note 111, 387. 

Buque de aviso, defined, 23. 

Buque de permiso, defined, 30. 

Buque de registro, defined, 121, 172, 
186, 187, 205. 

Burgos, 70; Cortes, 86. 

Bustamente, Carlos Maria, cited, 
10, 11. 

Bustamente, Manuel, 226. 

Byron, Admiral, 42. 

Caballeros de Calatrava, 2. 

Cabildo (municipal council), 60, 
69-70, 94, 208, 218, 221; see 

Cabildo (ecclesiastical), 352, 381. 

Caborca (Sonora), mission, 269. 

Cabreras, The, ancestors of Galvez, 

Cacao, 54, 190, 201. 

Cadereita, Marques de, viceroy, 
1635-40, 111. 

Cadiz, 19, 22, 23, 32, 54, 92, 135, 
136, 141, 147, 149, 164, 165, 187, 

Caja real (subtreasury), 77, 79, 80, 
81, 125, 126, 128, 149, 157, 174, 
183, 184, 185, 194-5, 287, 349. 

Calatrava, Order of, 2. 

California (Upper), 47, 48, 50, 214, 

246, 253, 254, 266, 278, 291, 292, 

California (Lower), 47, 135, 152, 
231, 234, 240, 241, 242, 243, 245, 

247, 253; laws of, 254-63, 258, 
259, 261, 262, 263, 264, 266, 275, 
277, 285, 287, 289, 291, 292, 293, 

California Pious Fund, 240, 265, 

Calvo, Sebastian, alcalde del cri- 
men, 144, 145. 

Campeche, 33, 137, 147, 178, 186, 
202, 204 et seq., 343, 366, 372, 
note 111. 

Campillo y Cosio, Jose, minister 
of war and finance, 36, 37, 54, 

Campomanes, Pedro Eodriguez, 
Conde de Campomanes, fiscal of 
Castile, 5 ; relations with Galvez, 
36; judgment of Galvez' reforms, 
176-82, 200, 338; quoted, 201, 

Canary Islands, 30, 32. 

Canas, Arroyo (Eio) de las, 269. 

Cancio, Captain Lorenzo, 271, 282, 

Capice y Galvez, Paulina, daughter 
of Matilda, nee Galvez, 10. 

Capitulos de visita, defined, 89. 

Capitular es (of the ayuntamiento), 
defined, 222. 

Captain-general, 96; see Viceroy 
as . 

Capuchins, 166. 

Caracas, consulado, 72, note 63, 186. 



Caracas or Guipuzcoa company, 34 
and note 46. 

Carga, defined, 140, 206. 

Caribbean Sea, 202. 

Carlos, Prince of the Asturias, 42. 

Carmen, subtreasury, 81. 

Carmen, Isla del (Lower Califor- 
nia), 261, 264. 

Carrasco, Francisco, Marques de la 
Corona, 4, note 3, 39, 40, 133. 

Carrillo, Martin, pesquisidor 1567, 

Carta de envio (bill of lading), 184, 

Cartagena (Spain), 32; (Peru), 24, 

Casa de Contratacion, 18, 19, 21, 
23, 92, 120, 360. 

Casa real, defined, 79, 194, 196. 

Casafuerte, Juan de Acuna, Mar- 
ques de, viceroy 1722-34, 206. 

Casinas, Marques de, 311. 

Castejon, Pedro Gonzalez de, min- 
ister of marine, 7, 8. 

Castellano of Acapulco, defined, 
166, 304, 306, 307. 

Castes, in New Spain, 50, 51, 284, 
285, 287. 

Castile, 14, 78; alcabala in, 353. 

Castilla del Oro, 98. 

Castro, Antonio de, oidor of Guate- 
mala, 113. 

Catalonia company, 35, note 46. 

Catalonian volunteers, 236. 

Catholic Monarchs, 1, 54, 87, 93, 
94, 95. 

Cedulario de Puga, cited, 103. 

Cedulas, defined, 17, 18. 

Celaya (Guanajuato), 80. 

Censos (land-lease revenue), 300, 
329-30, 372, note 111. 

Central America, 38. 

Centralization of administration, 
13-19, 37, 77, 87, 88, 89, 90, 299, 
314, 319; see Administration, 
Administration of revenues. 

Cerralvo, Eodriguez Pacheco y 
Osorio, Marques de, viceroy 
1624-35, 110, 111, 370. 

Cerralvo Island (Lower Califor- 
nia), 249. 

Cerro Prieto (Sonora), 270, 271, 
272, 276, 279. 

Cervera, university, 16. 

Challenge of judges, see Eecusation. 

Chametla, alcaldia mayor, 269; salt, 

Chancellorships, 62, 332. 

Chappe d'Auteroche, Jean, 75, note 
69, 251. 

Chapultepec, gunpowder factory, 

Charay (Sonora) revolt, 275-276. 

Charcas (San Luis Potosi), 223. 

Charlemagne, 84. 

Charles, Archduke of Austria, 14, 

Charles I (V) of Spain, 13, 21, 78, 
89, 90, 91, 95, 99, 322. 

Charles II of Spain, 13, 289. 

Charles III of Spain, 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 
13, 17, 18, 19; colonial reform 
policy, 25-40, 126, 169, 170, 176, 
177, 339, 388-9; plans for de- 
fense of New Spain, 43, 82, 117, 
123, 168, 209, 211; opposition to 
Sonora war, 271, 277. 

Charles IV of Spain, 380, 388. 

Charlotte, Princess, of Spain, 8. 

Chiapas, 46. 

Chihuahua, 49, 63, 152, 269, 279, 
294, 295; custom-house, 80; sub- 
treasury, 81; Indian war, 140; 
villa, 280, 281, 311. 



Chile, 38, 40; gold and silver pro- 
duction, 318, note 11. 

China, 40. 

Chinese goods, 28; see Acapulco 
trade, Manila galleon. 

Chirinos, Peralmindes, veedor of 
Mexico 1522, 78, 94. 

Choiseul, Etienne Francois, Due de, 
37, 38, 39, 40. 

Christian Church, 85. 

Church revenues, 349-53, 377-81. 

Churches of New Spain, 100. 

Churchmen, special courts, 65; as 
importers, 190, 191, 201. 

Cieneguilla (Sonora) placers, 318. 

"Cinaloa", 248, 249. 

Cis, Guillermo, surgeon, 279, 280. 

Clavigo, battle, 1. 

Coahuila, 48, 49, 50, 63, 277, 293. 

Cobrador, denned, 187; 258. 

Cochineal, 54, 185, 197, 323, 334, 

" Cochino de Vera Cruz," 185-7. 

Cockfighting, 314, note 1, 345-6. 

Coinage (Amonedacion) , 182, 314, 
note 1, 318-20. 

Colbert, Jean Baptiste, 20. 

Colima, 48, 54, 63. 

Colonial policy of Galvez, 13, 202- 
5, 252, 257, 259, 289; see Charles 

Colonies, frontier military, 56, 235, 
241, 242, 243, 267; Lower Cali- 
fornia, 250, 251, 252, 256, 257, 
258, 259 and note 36; Sonora, 

Comanche, tribe, 48. 

Comandancia general, 63, 242, 246, 
267, 289, 291; Plan of Galvez, 
293-5; the Comandante, suggest- 
ed powers, 294-5. 

Comisos (Smuggling fines), 193, 
198-9, 340. 

Commerce, at Vera Cruz, 24, 68, 

188, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205; 

Spanish-American, 26, 27, 28, 52, 

53, 55, 70-4, 111, 202, 232, 308; 

interior of New Spain, 141, 181, 

Commercial companies, Spanish, 

34, note 46. 
Commercial reform, 26-40; see 

Bourbon policies, Charles III, 

commercial reform policy, Gal- 
vez, colonial policy, Eeglamento 

of 1778. 
Communication between Spain and 

Spanish America, 20, 23, 24, 58, 

377-8, note 124. 
Comonfort, Ignacio, president of 

Mexico 1857, 358, note 84. 
Composition (Composicion de tier- 

ras), defined, 314, note 1, 338-9; 

see Agrarian question, Lands, 

"Concepcion ", 241. 
Concjepcion Valenzuela, Maria de 

la, third wife of Jose de Galvez, 

Consejo de Estado (Consejo Real), 

7, 116, 319. 
Consejo de Hacienda, 77, 114, 319. 
Consejo de Ultramar, 18. 
Consulado, of Mexico, 43, note 59, 
70-4, 116, 141, 175-180, 182, 
203-4, 208, 235, 236. 

—of Cadiz, 19, 22, 120, 141, 147, 
149, 182, 188, 203, 204, 235, 
236, 360. 

—of Caracas, 72, note 63, 186. 

— of Lima, 71. 

—of Seville, 19, 70, 120. 

—of Vera Cruz, 74, note 67, 352. 
Consulados, established, 70, note 

57 ; of New Spain, 80 ; suppressed 

74, note 67; visitation of, 120. 



Consules, defined, 71, 72. 
Contador general de Indias, 18, 82, 
207; see Landazuri, Tomas Ortiz 
Contador (Accountant), of the in- 
tendancies, 20; of the subtreas- 
uries, 77, 78, 79, 80, 99, 115, 125, 
183, 193, 195, 248, 305; of the 
municipalities, 299, 303; of the 
tobacco monopoly, 147, 151, 163; 
of the tribunal de cuentas, 68; 
of the alcabala, 353. 

Contaduria, general de Indias, 18, 
82, 188, 340, 367; of the alca- 
bala, 80; of the tobacco revenue, 
153; of tributes and quicksilver, 
80, 324, 375; mayor, de cuentas 
(Spain), 319; of half annats, 335. 

Contraband, 23, 31, 38, 39, 40, 160, 
162, 198, 266, 303, 340-1, 347; 
see Comisos, Smuggling. 

Contreras, oidor and visitor, 102, 

Convoys, 21, 26. 

Copala (also called San Sebastian), 
alcaldia mayor (Sinaloa), 163, 
269, 284. 

Copper revenue, 314, note 1, 331-2. 

Corbalan, Pedro de, intendant of 
Sonora, 20, 276, 287. 

Cordoba, Diego de, visitor, audi- 
encia of Valladolid, 90. 

Cordoba, Juan de, visitor, audi- 
encia of Valladolid, 90. 

Cordoba (New Spain), 144, 149, 
152, 155. 

Cordobanes (Leather revenue), 314, 
note 1, 344-5. 

Cornide, Diego, assessor of New 
Spain, 236, 239. 

Corregidores, 60, 68, 79, 87, 88, 92, 
120, 129, 158, 295, 322, 323, 324, 

Corregimientos, 50. 

Corres, Francisco, assistant to Gal- 
vez, 135, 136. 

Cortes, Hernan, 67, 78, 93, 95, 96, 
322, 324. 

Cortes, Martin, 104, 105. 

Cortes, of Alcala, 86; of Burgos, 
86; of Leon, 86; of Madrigal, 
87; of Zamora, 87; of 1812, 18. 

Coruna, open port, 32. 

Cosio, Pedro Antonio, administra- 
tor of Vera Cruz, 176, 188, 189. 

Costanso, Miguel, engineer, 248. 

Cotton, 54. 

Council of Castile, 5, 16, 36, 127. 

Council of Hacienda, see Consejo 

Council of the Indies, 5, 6, 7, 16- 
18, 57, 59, 99, 100, 107, 108, 109, 
121, 163, 164, 165, 235, 308, 311, 
317, 319, 341; its opposition to 
Galvez, 18, 169, 176, 177-209, 
309; licenses to emigrants to the 
Indies, 50; judicial appeal to, 
61, 67, 111, 114, 116, 121, 122, 
127, 130, 168; reports to by the 
tribunal de cuentas, 67, 69; ap- 
proval of the cuerpo de mineria, 
74; control of colonial finance, 
76, 77, 79; initiative in the gen- 
eral visitation, 97, 120; its in- 
structions to Galvez, 117, 123-8, 
132, 161, 164, and Appendix; 
relations with the Council and 
fiscals of Castile, 127; 209; visi- 
tor-general promoted to, 111, 118. 
Council of Laodicea, 85. 
Council of Trent, 85. 
Counterfeiting, 319. 
Court fines (Penas de Cdmara), 
102, 108, 111, 124, 314, note 1, 



Courts, ecclesiastical, 65; of first 
instance, 58, 61, 66, 80; of New 
Spain, 60-75; visitation of, 113, 
122-5, 129, 309; of Mexico, 74, 
note 67; see Audiencia, La Acor- 
dada, Tribunal de cuentas, Gal- 
vez, reforms of. 

Cozumel Island, 61, 102. 

Craywinckel, Francisco, 25. 

Creoles, 50, 51, 52, 62, 69, 75, 216, 
218, 219, 232-3, 284, 303. 

Croix, Carlos Francisco de, Mar- 
ques de, viceroy 1766-71, 9, 20, 
52, 56, 152, 210, 211, 218, 220, 
230, 232, 264, 276, 279, 280, 285, 
287, 288 ; relations with the audi- 
encia, 58, 62, 63; with the In- 
quisition, 64; with the tribunal 
de cuentas, 68; with the cuerpo 
de mineria, 74; with the tobacco 
monopoly, 145, 150, 151, 152; 
biographical sketch, 164, note 70 ; 
arrival in New Spain, 164-5, 
210 ; his residencia, 166 ; his char- 
acter and his instructions from 
the King, 170, 183, note 15, 305, 
note 14; attitude on reforms, 
176, 188, 190, 205, 207, 212; 
quoted on the Jesuit expulsion, 
212-213, 230-231; attitude on 
the Sonora expedition, 235-6, 
239, 271-2; proposal for the 
Comandancia general, 289, 293; 
for the bakers' guild, 298; re- 
turn to Spain, 298, 311; relations 
with Galvez, 145, 150, 151, 152, 
170, 171, 176, 183, 210, 212, 214 
and notes 9 and 12, 230, 231, 232, 
236 and note 2, 238, 239, 242, 
271-2, 278, 279, 280, 283, 304-5, 

Croix, Teodoro, Caballero de, 212, 
230, 289, 295, 304-7, 310. 

Cruillas, Marques de [Joaquin Mon- 
serrat y Cruilles], viceroy 1760- 
66, 43, 58, 138, 141; his inception 
of the tobacco monopoly, 142, 
143, 144, 146; opposition to Gal- 
vez, 128, 132, 133, ]37, 139, 149, 
150, 155-64, 234, 235; his resi- 
dencia, 165-8 ; departure from 
New Spain, 168, 169; biograph- 
ical sketch, 169-171; his investi- 
gation of graft, 174, 179, 183, 
184; plans for conquest of fron- 
tier, 234, 236; measures for pre- 
sidios, 288; connection with Aca- 
pulco trade, 304; ordinance for 
tribute collection, 329; schedule 
for Vera Cruz shipping, 369; re- 
quests for gifts to the King, 

Cuartilla, defined, 144, 260. 

Cuartillas (municipal grain duty), 

Cuban open ports, 32. 

Cubas, J. X., custom-house guard, 
303, 304. 

Cuellar, Captain Lope de, 294. 

Cuenca, 2. 

Cuernavaca custom-house, 80. 

Cuerpo de mineria, 74-5, 223, 317, 

Cuirimpo (Sinaloa), 257. 

Culiacan, 63; alcaldia mayor, 269; 
tribute in, 284, 326. 

Cumana, 33. 

Cuquiarachi (Sonora) mission, 280. 

Custom-houses, of New Spain list- 
ed, 80; 158, 180; of the Mexican 
Republic, 358, note 84; see names 
of cities in list for individual 

Customs guards, 153, 192, 194; see 
Tobacco monopoly, guards. 



Davila, Alonzo, contador of Vera 
Cruz, 78. 

Death penalty, for clandestine coin- 
ing, 319; for smuggling, 340. 

Decadence, of Spain, 13, 23; of 
trade, 25, 26-31; remedies pro- 
posed, 32-36. 

Decano (of the sala del crimen), 
62, 143, 378. 

Defender of estates of minors and 
deceased persons, 331. 

Deficits of New Spain, 373, note 

Demandas publicas (Public trials), 
119, 121. 

il Deputies on commission," 84. 

DerecJw de oro (Duty on gold pro- 
duction), 316. 

Deza, Miguel, sargento mayor, 227. 

Biezmo, see Tithes. 

Diputados, of the consulado, 71, 
147, 149, 203, 204. 

Disorders in New Spain, 56, 162; 
see Eiots. 

Dispensations {Bulas de la Santa 
Cruzada), 226, 261, 262, 314, note 
1, 378-80. 

Division of labor, in New Spain, 

Dolores (Lower California) mis- 
sion, 251. 

Dominguez de Contreras, Pedro, 
visitor of Mexico, 117. 

Donativos, defined, 63, 75, 370-1. 

"Dragon", 164. 

Draper, General Sir William, 41. 

Durango, state, 49; city, 50, 63, 
152, 269, 287, 294, 330; custom- 
house, 80; subtreasury, 81: 
bishop of, 269, 286; intendancy 
proposed, 291, 295. 

Duras, Marquis de, French ambas- 
sador at Madrid, 4, note 3. 

Dutch, the, oppose Philip V, 15; 
smugglers, 31; on the Pacific 
Coast, 294. 

Duties, on intercolonial trade, 34, 
207; on brandy, 174; on wine 
and vinegar, 301; on flour, 33, 
36; on gold and silver exporta- 
tion, 372; at Acapulco, 307-8, 
310; at Campeche, 372; at Vera 
Cruz, 314, note 1, 360-3; see 
Alcabala de mar, Almirantazgo, 
Almojarifazgo, Armada, Averia, 
Fortification; Export and import 
duties, Import duties. 

Ecclesiastical revenues, 349-53, 

Echeveste, Juan Jose, treasurer of 
the tobacco monopoly, 143, 147, 
151, 298, 311. 

Education, in New Spain, 75, 264, 

Egmont, Falkland Islands, 42. 

Egypt, 84. 

Ejidos, defined, 257. 

El Paso (Texas), 47. 

El Venado (San Luis Potosi), 219, 

Elizondo, Colonel Domingo, 237, 
267, 270, 272, 274, 276, 277, 278, 

Emendadores, defined, 86. 

Encabezamiento, defined, 210, 313, 

Encomenderos, 101, 104, 105, 322, 
325, 350. 

Encomiendas, 49, 50, 53, 93, 101, 
102, 104, 124, 322, 325, 334. 

England, at war with Spain, 7, 15, 
24, 294. 

English, commercial advantage, 14, 
15, 22, 30, 35, 38, 40, 41; ex- 
pelled from the Maluines, 42; 
menace New Spain on the Pacific, 



47, 294; at Vera Cruz, 30, 168, 
205; in South America, 30, 38; 
on the Gulf of Mexico, 41; 
threatened attack on Vera Cruz, 
72, 138, 142; smuggling, 31, 157, 
203, 204; aid sought for revolu- 
tion in Mexico, 233. 

Enrique II of Castile, 86. 

Enriquez de Almanza, Martin, vice- 
roy 1568-80, 105, 353. 

Ensaye (Assay duty), 315-6. 

Episcopal visitation, 85-6. 

Escalona, Duque de, viceroy 1640- 
42, 111-2. 

Escribano (notary), 68, 91, 183, 

Escusado (subsidy levied on the 
clergy), 314, note 1, 350. 

Espanola, Island, 350. 

Espinola, Francisco M., commander 
of squadron, 141, note 21. 

Espinosa, Jacinto, director of the 
tobacco monopoly, 135, 143, 144, 
145, 146, 147, 149, 151, 152. 

Espolios, defined, 350. 

Esquilache, Leopoldo Gregorio, 
Marques de, 41, 44, 146, 148, 149, 
209; quoted, 147, 150. 

Estado llano, defined, 314. 

Estrada, Alonzo de, treasurer of 
Mexico, 78, 96. 

Europe, 22, 43, 85. 

Export and import duties, Cadiz, 
26, 27, 205; Acapulco, 310, 361- 
2; Campeche, 372, note 111; on 
precious metals, 314, note 1, 372, 
note 111; Vera Cruz, 27, 36, 190, 
341; see Duties, Import duties. 

Exportation of precious metals, 29, 
35, 54, 107, 141 and note 21, 307, 
314, note 1. 

"Eye of the king," 84. 

Etzatlan (Jalisco), 155. 

Factor (treasury official), 78, 94, 

99, 153, 183, 193. 
Fages, Pedro, lieutenant of Cata- 

lonian volunteers, 236. 
Fairs, Jalapa, 22, 126, 140-1, 147, 

158, 178, 179; proposed by Gal- 

vez for Guaymas and Loreto, 

242; Panama, 22, note 21; Porto 

Bello, 22, 30; Vera Cruz, 22, 34; 

Acapulco, 305, note 14. 
Falkland Islands, 42. 
Family Pact, economic aspect of, 

38, 39, 40, 41. 
Fanega, defined, 258, 323. 
Farnese, Isabel, 15. 
Faveau y Quesada, Antonio, pilot 

of the royal navy, 248. 
Ferdinand VI of Spain, 15, 25, 368. 
Ferdinand and Isabella, 87, 88, 89, 

90, 349 ; see Catholic monarchs. 
Ferdinand, Prince, 89, 103. 
Fernandez, Diego, mining expert, 

Ferfaz, Felix, governor of Vera 

Cruz, 160. 
Ferrer del Rio, Antonio, cited, 23. 
Fiel ejecutoria, described, 297, 298. 
"Fifth" (Quinto), 78, 317, 319. 
Fines, for smuggling, 198; see 

Fiscal (of the audiencia), 58, 60, 

61, 62, 66, 67, 76, 77, 83, 124, 140, 

151, 154, 162, 165, 208, 210, 239, 

328; see Velarde, Juan Antonio, 

and Areche, Jose Antonio. 
Fiscal of Hacienda (Madrid), 111. 
Fiscals of the Indies, 17, 116, 190., 

191, 204, 207. 
Fiscals of Castile, 91, 176, 177, 178, 

182, 187, 188, 189, 191, 196, 200, 

Flemings, in American trade, 21, 




Flores, Manuel, viceroy 1787-89, 
58, 140. 

Florida, 38, 46, 47. 

Floridablanca, Conde de, first min- 
ister of state, 7, 8, 176-7, 388, 
389; see Mofiino, Jose. 

Flotas, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 33, 108, 
126, 135, 140, 141, note 21, 147, 
172, 202, 203, 204. 

Flour, duties on, 33, 178, 206-7; 
see Wheat. 

Flying squadrons, frontier, 48, 140, 

Fonseca, Fabian, and Carlos de 
Urrutia, cited, 82. 

Food supply, Mexico, 297-8, 200-1. 

Foreign aggression on the Pacific, 
46, 47, 294. 

Foreign domination of trade, 23, 
28, 30, 55, 168, 202, 203. 

Foreign trade, prohibited, 20, 21, 
33, 168. 

Fortification, defined, 206, 372, note 
111, 387. 

Frago, Antonio de, director of to- 
bacco monopoly, 147. 

France, 14, 15, 20, 38-40, 269, 289; 
see Bourbon policies. 

Francis of Assisi, St., 279. 

Franciscans, 167, 215, 218; Fer- 
nandinos in Lower California, 
240, 250; Jaliscans, 286; Quere- 
tarans, 286. 

Frederick the Great, 41. 

Free commerce, 24, 33, 40, 55; Yu- 
catan and Campeche, 33, 202, 
203, 204; Guatemala, 22, 202; 
Louisiana, 33; New Granada, 33, 
202; New Spain, 33, 202, 384, 
385; Peru, 33, 202; Venezuela, 
33, 384; suggested by Humboldt, 
155; its effect on agriculture 

and mining, 352, 384-5; advo- 
cated by Eevillagigedo, 387. 

Free ports, of Spain, 26, 32; of 
Spanish America, 32, 33, 384; 
San Bias and Acapulco, 242. 

French, coterie at Madrid, 3 ; fleet 
in the Antilles, 7; reforms in 
Spain, 16, 20, 36, 38-40; in Lou- 
isiana, 33, 46; occupation of the 
Maluines, 42; trade with Span- 
ish America, 29, 31; smugglers, 
29, 157, 205; on the Pacific, 294; 
influence in Spanish America, 

Fresnillo, custom-house, 80. 

Frigiliana, Count of, first Ministro 
de Indias, 16. 

Frontier, Bolton cited on condi- 
tions, 50; settlements, 56, 125, 
219, 235, 236, 237, 242; presidios, 
240, 241, 259, 277; condition of, 
268-70, 277; reorganization of, 
283-95; revenues, 284-5, 326, 
354, 356; see Sonora war, Pre- 

Fueros, defined, 65, 86, 122, 258, 

Fuerte, alcaldia mayor, 269; In- 
dians, '269, 275-6, 284. 

Funds under royal protection {Ra- 
mos agenos), 382-3. 

Gabriel, Infante, 8. 

Gachupines, defined, 50, 219. 

Gallardo, Jose, godfather to Jose 
de Galvez, 1. 

Gallardo, Jose Rodriguez, 326. 

Gallardo Jurado, Ana, mother of 
Jose de Galvez, 1. 

Galleons, 21, 24, 50, 166 ; see Flotas. 

Galvez, Andres Luis (called Mi- 
guel), brother of Jose, 1, 2, 10, 



Galvez, Anton de, ancestor of Jose, 

Galvez, Antonio de, brother of 

Jose, 2. 
Galvez, Antonio Miguel Joaquin, 

brother of Jose, 2, 10. 
Galvez, Bernardo, Conde de, son 

of Matias and nephew of Jose, 

7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 279, 311. 
Galvez, Jose de, Marques de So- 

nora, biography, 1-12; birth, 1; 

as shepherd-boy, school-boy, and 

acolyte, 2-3; at University of 

Salamanca, 3; in law practice, 

3, 4, 5; appointed governor of 
Zamboanga, 3; secretary to Gri- 
maldi, 4, 36; alcalde de casa y 
corte, 5, 6; appointed visitor- 
general, 5, 25, 26 ; honorary mem- 
ber of the Council of the Indies, 
5, 311; ministro togado, 5, 6, 131; 
member of the Junta de comer- 
cio, 6; superintendent of the 
regalia de corte, 6; governor of 
the Council of the Indies, 7, 17; 
minister of the Indies, 6, 7, 11, 
74; member of the Consejo de 
Estado, 7; made Marques de 
Sonora, 8; regidor perpetuo of 
Malaga, 8; Caballero Gran Cruz 
del Orden de Carlos Tercero, 9; 
marriages, 3, 4, 10; death, 10, 
11, 12; inheritance of his title, 

Instructions as visitor, 117, 
123-8, 140, 146, 155, 157, 164, 
172, 177, and Appendix; powers 
in New Spain, 128-33, 138, 139, 
147, 148, 150, 155, 156, 158, 162- 

4, 182, 200, 215, 220, 232, 239, 
240-3, 268, 272, 290, 293; his 
official family, 135-6. 

Departure from Spain, 135; 
arrival at Havana, 136; at Vera 
Cruz, 39, 136, 159; at Mexico 
City, 138, 145, 146, 234; return 
to Vera Cruz, 149, 157, 355; re- 
turn to Mexico, 150, 162, 299; 
at Jalapa, 149, 153, 157, 158, 
299; departure for the mining 
regions, 214; at San Luis de la 
Paz, 215-6; at San Luis Potosi, 
216-23; at Guanajuato, 225-6; 
at Valladolid (Morelia), 226-7; 
at Guadalajara, 244 ; at San Bias, 
246-8; on the Tres Marias, 249; 
in Lower California, 249-66, 
272; in Sonora, 64, 253, 272; at 
Pitic, 278; at Alamos, 274-6, 
278, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286; at 
Ures, 279; at Arispe, 280; final 
return to Mexico, 268, 281, 296; 
return to Spain via Havana, ar- 
rival at Cadiz and Madrid, 5, 

His reforms, 24, 35-6, 51; ap- 
proved of by the French, 4, note 
3, 40; opposition to the reforms, 
18, 70,^151, 155-64, 177-208, 298, 
308, 309, 339; reforms at Vera 
Cruz, 20, 173-209; at Acapulco, 
303-10; at Campeche and Yuca- 
tan, 33, 178, 202; in wheat and 
flour exportation, 178, 206-8; at 
San Luis Potosi, 222-3; in Gua- 
dalajara, 244, 356; at Guana- 
juato, 225-6; in Sonora, 152, 
237, 240, 283-95; in Lower Cali- 
fornia, 152, 241-66; for the bak- 
ers of Mexico City, 56, 296-8 
and note 6 ; in municipal finance, 
69, 298-303; for the mining in- 
dustry, 74, 125, 242, note 10, 263, 
283, 321, 376; in the tobacco 



monopoly, 54, 143-54; at San 
Bias, 247-8; in the censo, 338; 
in stamped paper, 333; in sal- 
able offices, 332; in the lanzas 
and half annats, 336; in liquor 
duties, 343; in the tithes, 351; 
in grocery licenses, 339; in the 
alcabala, 356-7; in salt revenues, 
365-7; in the tribute, 284-5, 
326-9; in the snow monopoly, 
344; in the leather revenue, 344; 
in gunpowder, 163, 346, 347; in 
cockfighting, 345; in increase of 
customs-guards, 347; in the play- 
ing-card monopoly, 9, 375; in 
quicksilver, see mining indus- 
try; in dispensations, 378-9; 
concerning ecclesiastical revenues, 
381; his Plan for a Comandancia 
general, 293-5; Plan for intend- 
ancies, 156, 225, 275-6, 287, 289- 
92, 328; in the tribunal de cuen- 
tas, 68; measures for coloniza- 
tion, 125, 219, 235, 237, 241-2, 
255-7, 259-60, 267, 286-7; for a 
subtreasury at Alamos, 81, 268, 
287; his neglect of judicial re- 
form, 126, 132, 309; inadequacy 
of the reforms, 295, 301-2; see 
in this Index his Informe Gen- 
eral, Eeglamento of 1778, Ordi- 
nance of intendants; see also 
Revillagigedo ' ' the younger. ' ' 

Personal characteristics: atti- 
tude during American Revolu- 
tion, 7-8; concerning Eussian 
aggression, 47, 246, 294; French 
sympathies, 4, 40; jealousy of 
Floridablanca, 7-8; beneficencies 
at Macharaviaya, 9; illness, 6, 
275-82, 287, 296; insanity, 10, 
214, note 9, 240, note 8, 268, 275- 

83, 295; oratory, 223-4; nepot- 
ism, 9, 304; piety, 223; opinion 
of his powers, 132-3, 159, 161; 
method of planning for the So- 
nora expedition, 140, 272-4; se- 
verity, 215, 219, 220-9, 273, 276, 
282; schemes to effect ends, 215, 
237-9, 244, 272; treatment of 
Indians, 57, 220-9, 273, 276, 284; 
vindictiveness, 9-10, 11, 240, 
note 8, 244, note 14, 273-4; see 
Cruillas and Croix, Francisco de. 
Quoted: 132, 148, 156, 158, 162, 
206, 213, 228, 229, 238, 246, 273, 
274, 280, 367. 

Galvez, Manuel de, 3. 

Galvez, Maria Josefa de, daughter 
of Jose, 10. 

Galvez, Matias de, brother of Jose, 
2, 9, 315, 339. 

Galvez, Matilda de, Condesa de, 
daughter of Bernardo, 10. 

Galvez, Miguel de, see Andres Luis. 

Galvez, Miguel de, son of Bernardo, 

Galvez, Pedro de, visitor-general, 
113, 114, 116. 

Galvez y Carbajal, Antonio de, 
father of Jose, 1, 2. 

Gama, Antonio de la, juez de resi- 
dencia, Porto Rico, 98. 

Gambling in New Spain, 95; see 
Lottery, Cockfighting. 

Garcia, Genaro, cited, 106. 

Garcia Morales, Manuel, juez vee- 
dor, 258, 262. 

Garcias, The, ancestors of Galvez, 

Garzaron, Francisco, visitor-general, 
115, 116, 117, 124. 

General Visitation, see Visitation. 

Genoese in American trade, 21. 

Gente de razon, defined, 53. 



Germans in American trade, 21; 
at Vera Cruz, 30. 

Gibraltar, 14, 15. 

Gifts to the king, see Donatiros. 

Gijon, open port, 32. 

Gila Indians, 277. 

Godoy, Manuel, ' ' Prince of Peace, ' ' 

Gold, duties, 315; production of, 
see Precious metals. 

Gonzalez, Salvador, paymaster of 
Carmen presidio, 1765, 161. 

Gonzalez Becerra, Ramon, oidor of 
Guadalajara, 1768, 245. 

Gonzalez Caste j on, Pedro, Minister 
of Marine, 7, 68. 

Gonzalez Davila, Gil, visitor of the 
audiencia of Santa Domingo, 98. 

Gonzalez Toro, Diego, bishop of 
Malaga, 2, 3. 

Goosens, Pedro, 25. 

Gorostiza, Pedro, sargento mayor, 
215, 224. 

Governors, 20, 49, 60, 64, 67, 79, 
92, 95, 120, 124, 129, 157, 159, 
160, 193, 196, 197-8, 207, 248, 
255, 256, 257, 263, 265, 269, 270, 
277, 346, 369; Indian governors, 
220, 227, 275, 287. 

Grado, Alonzo de, visitor-general 
of New Spain, 93-5. 

Graft, by the viceroy, 107, 112, 
167; in the Acapulco trade, 110, 
303, 306, 307; in the frontier 
presidios, 288; at Mexico, 124, 
180, 181, 184; at Manila, 306; 
at Vera Cruz, 109, 173, 181, 184- 
8, 197. 

Granada (Spain), surrender of, 
1492, 1; visitation of, 90; (Cen- 
tral America), 77. 

Grand memoir sur le commerce des 
hides, 39. 

Grau, open port, 32. 

Grazing, 53, 54. 

Greek Church, 85. 

Gregory XIII, Pope, 378. 

Gremios, defined, 22, note 22 ; re- 
striction proposed, 37, 55; oppo- 
sition of Revillagigedo to, 298, 
note 6. 

Grimaldi, Marques de, Minister of 
State, 4, 6, note 8, 7, 8, 41, 43, 
44, 209, 245, 246; relations of 
Galvez with, 36, 208; quoted, 
209, 231-2; postal reforms, 58, 
377-8, note 124. 

Grimaldo, Maria Magdalena, first 
wife of Jose de Galvez, 3, 4. 

Grocery licenses, see Pulperias. 

Guadalajara, 53, 147, 152, 154, 155, 
165, 178, 215, 220, 244, 257, 344; 
audiencia of, 49, 62-3, 269, 293; 
custom-house, 80; treasury, 87, 
244, 262, 351; intendancy pro- 
posed, 291; alcabaJa in, 356. 

Guadalcazar (San Luis Potosi), 

Guadalupe (Lower California), mis- 
sion, 251. 

Guanajuato, state, 48; custom- 
house, 80; subtreasury, 81, 226; 
rebellion at, 223-6; reforms of 
Galvez, 225, 226, 315, 327; in- 
tendancy proposed, 291; men- 
tioned, 210, 213, 215, 216, 234, 
236, 239, 243, 252, 344. 

Guatemala, 9, 33, 46, 64, 72, 113, 
202, 279, 328. 

Guaymas, 237, 248, 272; fair pro- 
posed, 242; EKzondo at, 270, 271. 

Guerrero, state, 48. 

Guiana, 40. 

Guias, defined, 172, 173; 177, 178, 
179, 184, 185, 192, 200, 308, 356. 



Guilds, of New Spain, 54; bakers', 

Guiller, M., 233. 

Guinea company, 29, 30. 

Guipuzcoa company, 34, note 46. 

Guitian, Francisco, appraiser, Mex- 
ico custom-house, 181. 

Gulf of California, 241, 288. 

Gulf of Mexico, 8, 38, 46, 288; a 
Latin lake, 40, 41. 

Gunpowder revenue, 153, 163, 210, 
211, 218, 243, 262, 263, 267, 283, 
287, 314, note 1, 346-7. 

Guzman, Nuiio de, 96. 

Haberia, see Averia. 

Hacienda, Consejo de, see Consejo. 

Half annat, 225, 290, 314, note 1, 
331, 324-5, 336, 350; ecclesiasti- 
cal half annat, 380, 381. 

Half-castes, see Castes. 

Hapsburgs, 13, 16, 17, 42, 123, 314, 

Harbor duties, 369; see Lastre, 
Anclage. * 

Haro y Tamariz, Antonio, 358, note 

Havana, 134, 135, 136, 138, 154, 
186, 202, 206, 207, 281, 310, 311, 
372; intendancy, 20; mail ser- 
vice, 24; captaincy-general, 46, 
47; company, 34, note 46; situ- 
ado, 139; tobacco, 142, 376; 
troops, 236. 

Hedionda (San Luis Potosi), 219. 

Hernandez Vinuesa, Jose, assist- 
ant to Galvez, 136. 

Herrera, Licenciado, 102. 

Hiaqui (Yaqui), Indians, 269, 284, 
286; petition to pay tribute, 282. 

Hidalgo, state, 48. 

Hidalgo y Costilla, Miguel, 229. 
Hierro, Felipe del, contador of to- 
bacco, 151. 

Highway robbery, 65; see La Acor- 

Honduras, 42, 91. 

Horn, Cape, 23, 24. 

Hospitalidades, defined, 372, note 

Huarte, Simon, 151. 

Huatusco (Vera Cruz), 155. 

Huehuetoca canal, 73, 110, 335. 

Humboldt, Alexander von, cited, 
53, 75, 317, 342, 347, 352, 357, 
365; quoted, 155. 

Idiaquez y Borja, Agustin, 141, 
note 21. 

Import duties, on precious metals, 
Spain, 29; on manufactures, 33; 
at Acapulco, 308, 310, 361-2; at 
Vera Cruz, 174, 175, 187, 188, 
189, 205, 363-5; see Duties, Ex- 
port and import duties. 

Imposts, total of, 363, note 96; on 
silk, 372, note 111. 

Independence, movements for, 8, 
11, 56, 57, 217, 220, 226, 232-3, 

India, 40. 

Indians, 48, 50, 51, 65, 201; educa- 
tion of, 74, 256; treatment of, 
51, 53, 57, 65, 75, 95, 101, 124, 
191, 201, 216, 217, 220-232, 240, 

251, 258, 263, 273, 274, 284-5, 
325, 326, 327, 330; auxiliaries, 
65, 236; enumeration of, 103, 
329; of Lower California, 251, 

252, 255, 256, 264; revolts of, 
140, 216-23, 267, 268-78; hos- 
pital, 326; as carriers of snow, 

Indias y Marina, secretariat, 6, 16. 
Indigo, 54, 184, 185, 340. 
Informe de los Senores Campomanes 
y Monino, 177-208. 



Inquisition, 64-5, 101, 107, 109, 

Instruction provisional, 1767, 81, 
173-4, 176, 177, 183, 189, 190, 
191, 200. 

Instruction reservada to Galvez, 
1765, 25, 132, 137, 157, 208, 299. 

Instructions to visitors-general, 93- 
5, 99, 100, 103, 108, 109, 110, 113, 

Intendancies, 20, 25, 36, 37, 46, 47, 
49, 57, 117, 127, 131, 153, 156, 
225, note 23, 267, 276, 284, 328; 
Plan, 289-92; Ordinance of 1749, 
20, 291 ; see Ordinance of Intend- 
ants, Intendants. 

Intendant-general of marine, 19. 

Intendant de justice (France), 85, 
note 2. 

Intendants, 20, 67, 81, 128, 131, 
132, 139, 147, 155, 161, 207, 215, 
225, 255, 274, 276, 287, 302, 303, 
322, 337, 345, 349, 375. 

International marriages. 42. 

Isabella Island (Tepic), 249. 

Italy, 11, 15, 42. 

Jalapa, custom-house, 80 ; fair, 126, 
140-1, 149, 158; Galvez at, 149, 
153, 157, 158; mentioned, 178, 
217, 385. 

Jalisco, state, 48, 49, 63. 

Jamaica, 8, 38, 40, 41. 

"Jason", 135, 136, 138, 139, 159. 

Jeopardy, for offenses under Span- 
ish law, 119. 

Jesuits, conflict with Palafox, 110, 
112, 113; expulsion, 5, 56, 73, 
176, 210-33; from San Luis Po- 
tosi, 216-23; from Lower Cali- 
fornia, 250, 264, 265; from Gua- 
dalajara, 244; from Nueva Viz- 
caya, 295; their missions in 
Lower California, 240, 252, 263, 

264, 265; Jesuits in Sonora, 267, 

268, 270, 285. 
Juan, Prince, of Portugal, 1. 
Juan I of Castile, 86, 316. 
Juan II of Castile, 87. 
Juan, Jorge, and Antonio Ulloa, 

Juana la Loca, Dona, 91, 99, 102, 

315. . 
Juarez, Benito, president of Mex- 
ico 1858-, 1867-71, 358, note 84. 
Jueces de bienes de difuntos, de- 
fined, 64, 108, 124. 
Jueces de fuera, 86, 87. 
Jueces de letras, 74, note 67. 
Jueces de salario, 86, 87. 
Jueces oficiales, 92. 
Jueces ordinarios, 58, 66, 78, 132, 

153, 160, 259. 
Juez conservador, 178, [193], 349. 
Juez de arribadas, 19, 33, 92. 
Juez de residencia, 84, 92, 95, 96, 

98, 102, 119, 121, 165, 334. 
Juez pesquisidor, 88, 105; see Pes- 

Juez veedor, 258, 262. 
Junta de Comercio (Spain), 6, 319. 
Junta de comercio (special), 1765, 

Junta de generales, 139, 234, 236, 

Junta de guerra, 239, 243, 258. 
Junta de Hacienda (Spain), 77. 
Junta de Moneda (Spain), 319. 
Junta de Tabaco, 143, 144-54. 
Junta superior de real hacienda, 58, 

59, 76, 77, 303, 338, 339. 
Junta de reunion de rentas y res- 

guardos, 358, note 84. 
Justicia mayor, 96. 
Juzgado de bienes de difuntos, see 

Jueces de bienes de difuntos. 
La Acordada, see Acordada. 



La Hedionda, 219-20. 

La Paz (Lower California), 249, 
252, 253, 258. 

Labado, Miguel, customs-guard at 
Mexico, 181. 

Laguacana (Michoacan), 321. 

Laguna de Terminos, smuggling, 
137, 138, 157, 159, 160, 161, 163, 
204, 304. 

Landazuri, Tomas Ortiz de, 18, 25, 
176, 183, 184, 185, 187, 189, 204, 
207, 282, 308, 367; quoted, 181- 
2, 183. 

Landeras, Diego de, visitor-general, 

Lands, holders of, 52; litigation 
over, 63; apportionment to set- 
tlers, 241, 259; to Indians, 257, 
284, 286-7; land laws, 257, 259; 
the censo, 329-30; composition 
of titles, 338-9; theory of crown 
ownership, 338. 

Lanzas, 314, note 1; defined, 336, 

Laodicea, Council of, 85. 

Laredo (Spain), open port, 32. 

Lastre (Ballast revenue), 314, note 
1, 369-70. 

Lasuen, Fr. Fermin Francisco, 251. 

Laws of Castile, see Becopilacion 
de Castilla. 

Laws of the Indies, see Becopi- 
lacion de Indias. 

Laws of Lower California, 254-63. 

Lead revenue, 314, note 1, 321-2. 

Leakage (merma), 187, 201, 342, 

Leases, of tobacco monopoly, 145, 
147; of revenues, 14, 15, 79, 127, 
173, 313, 314, 321, 343-4; of the 
alcabala, 355; of lastre, 369; of 
playing-card monopoly, 375; of 
salt monopoly, 111, 365-6. 

Leather revenue (Cordobanes) , 314, 
note 1, 344-5. 

Leon, Cortes of, 86. 

Leon y Escandon, Pedro, 177. 

Leopold, Archduke of Austria, 42. 

Lerdo de Tejada, Miguel M., cited, 

Libro de Cabildo, Tenochtitlan, 
quoted, 93-5. 

Libro de poblacion, defined, 257, 

Licenses, for vessels, 21, 24, 26, 
27; abolished, 32, 33; to emi- 
grate to the Indies, 50 ; to preach, 
112, 113; collected from Indians, 
262; grocers', 314, note 1, 337; 
bakers', 370, note 111. 

Lieutenants (tenientes), 92. 

Lima, Peru, 118. 

Linares, Benito, assistant to Gal- 
vez, 135, 136, 299. 

Linares, Duque de, viceroy 1711- 
16, 385-6. 

Liquor excise, 342-3; see Brandy 
duty; Wine, duties. 

Loreto (Lower California), 240, 
242, 253-63, 264, 265, 272. 

Lottery, 314, note 1, 347-9. 

Louis XIV of France, 14, 15, 29, 

Louisiana, 7, 8, 33, 41, 46, 48, 153, 

Lower California, see California, 

Low Countries, 14. 

Luis I of Spain, 15. 

Luisa, Infanta of Parma, 42. 

Llamas, Marques de las, 25. 

Machado, Francisco Xavier, assist- 
ant to Galvez, 135, 136, 137. 

Macharaviaya [Macharavialla], 1, 
2, 4, 9, 11, 375. 

Madrid, city, 3, 4, 10, 16, 22, 24, 



26, 33, 36, 38, 41, 75, 90, 104, 135, 
165, 183, 231, 246, 273, 302, 311, 

Madrid, family, ancestors of Gal- 
vez, 1. 

Malaga, province, 2; city, 3, 8; 
open port, 32. 

Malays, in New Spain, 50. 

Maloias (also called Plomosas), 
alcaldia mayor, 269; tribute in, 

Maluines (Falkland) dispute, 42. 

Mangino, Fernando Jose, superin- 
tendent of the mint, 226, 327, 

Maniau y Torquemada, Joaquin, 
cited, 341, 352, 353. 

Manila, 306; ransom, 41; galleon, 
110, 203, 252, 255, 266, 203-10, 

Manrique, Diego, governor of Ha- 
vana, 135. 

Manufactures, in Spanish America, 
29, 55, 140, 153, 291; duties on, 
in Spain, 33; of brandy in New 
Spain and Peru, 342. 

Maracaibo, 186. 

Marcliamo, defined, 172, 173; 177, 
178, 180, 200, 308, 357. 

Margarita, open port of, 32. 

Maria Luisa, Infanta of Spain, 42. 

Maria Victoria, Princess, of Portu- 
gal, 8. 

Marina e Indias, portfolio divided, 
6, 16. 

Marriages, international, 8, 42. 

Marshal (alguacil ejecutor), 68. 

Martinez de Concha, Jacinto, chief 
of La Acordada, 66, 159. 

Martinique, 40. 

Masa comun, defined, 312, 215, 334, 
337, 374, note 114. 

Masa remisible, denned, 312, 373-4. 

Maximilian I of Mexico, aleabala 
legislation, 358, note 84. 

Mayo Indians, 269, 272, 284. 

Mayorga, Martin de, viceroy 1779- 
83, 9, 10, 11, 339, 369. 

Mazatlan, 249. 

Medina, Bartolome de, mercury 
process, 376. 

Media anata, see Half annats. 

Medio real de hospital, 326. 

Medio real de ministros, defined, 
124, 326. 

Mejia, Gonzalo de, treasurer, Villa 
Eica de Vera Cruz, 78. 

Melgarejo Santaella, Ambrosio, 
oidor, audiencia of Mexico, 1768, 

Mendoza, Francisco, visitor-general 
1489, 90. 

Mendoza, Antonio, viceroy 1535- 
50, 99, 102, 322. 

Mercury, see Quicksilver. 

Merida (Yucatan), 330, 380. 

Merinos, defined, 86. 

Merma (Leakage), 187, 201, 342, 

Mesa mayor (council table), of the 
tribunal de cuentas, 68. 

Mesada, denned, 334, 380-1. 

Mestizos, 50, 51, 53, 57, 340. 

Mexico, 5, 17, 27, 32, 40, 42, 53, 55, 
56, 73, 80, 101, 105, 107, 109, 111, 
114, 115, 117, 124, 131, 135, 137, 
138, 139, 141, 142, 143, 146, 148, 
149, 152, 162, 163, 179, 181, 185, 
213, 214, 215, 216, 220, 237, 255, 
264, 265, 268, 278, 279, 280, 281, 
295, 298, 300, 311, 319, 330, 337, 
342, 346, 349, 353, 355, 360, 371, 
385; defenses, 43 and note 59, 
73; kingdom, 48, 58; state, 48; 



Spanish residents, 52; consulado, 
70-4; cuerpo de mineria, 74-5; 
treasury, 77, 78, 79, 81, 323, 354, 
379, 382; custom-house, 73, 80, 
172, 175, 179, 301, 303; frauds, 
107, 109, 110, 181, 184-8, 304; 
tobacco warehouse, 147, 149, 151 ; 
tobacco asesor and fiscal, 154; 
measures of Galvez concerning 
trade of, 177 et seq. ; food sup- 
ply, 296-8; ordinances of Galvez 
for, 300-2; mint, 108, 166, 182, 

Michoacan, state, 48; province, 
215; bishop, 349; mines, 321. 

Miel de purga, defined, 372, note 

Milan, 14. 

Militia, of New Spain, 43, 44, note 
60, 53; revenues for, 140, 158, 
221, 227, 231, 359; enlistment of, 
150, 158, 162, 213, 218 and note 
16, 220, 225, 226, 227, 231, 233; 
Mora 7 s activities concerning, 223 ; 
militia on the frontier, 236, 241, 
267, 294; in Lower California, 
255, 258, 260, 284; expenditures 
for, 294, 373, 374. 

Mindanao, P. I., 3. 

Mining industry, 34, 53, 63, 74-6, 
114, 125, 139, 181, 211, 225, 242, 
247, 252, 253, 267, 270, 273, 283- 
4, 315, 316, 321, 346, 347, 356, 
376, 385. 

Minister of the Indies, 6, 9, 10, 16, 
33, 35, 49, 125. 

Ministro de Hacienda, 81. 

Ministros de capa y espada, 18. 

Ministros togados, 5, 17, 62, 127, 
131, 132. 

Minorca, 14. 

Mint, of Castile, 318; of Mexico, 

108, 166, 182, 318-21, 331; new 
mint proposed for frontier, 294; 
of Nueva Granada and of Potosi, 
Peru, 318. 

Missi dominici, 85. 

Missions, Lower California, 251, 
253, 254, 255, 256, 260, 263-6; 
Upper California, 253; Sonora, 
267, 269, 284, 285, 291. 

Mississippi Eiver, 47. 

Moctezuma, 93, 322. 

Molina del Rey (Spain), 90. 

Molina Oviedo, Gaspar de, bishop 
of Malaga, 3. 

Mondonedo, bishop of, 90. 

Monino, Jose de, fiscal of Castile, 
5, 7, 36, 176, 177, 182-3, 185, 200, 
201, 207-9. 

Monopoly, of Spanish trade, 26, 
29, 31, 32, 54, 169, 203; of offi- 
cial colonial positions, 52; prin- 
ciple opposed by Revillagigedo, 
385-7; see also Alum, Copper, 
Gunpowder, Lead, Leather, Play- 
ing-cards, Quicksilver, Stamped 
paper, Tin, Tobacco, Salt, Snow. 

Monserrat y Cruilles, Joaquin, Mar- 
que de Cruilles (Cruillas), see 

Monserrat, Fernando, castellano of 
Acapulco, 166, 304. 

Monte Tenuage (Sonora), 270. 

Montenegro, Bartolome, assistant 
to Galvez, 243. 

Montepio, defined, 379. 

Monterey (Nuevo Leon), 50. 
Monterey (California), 47, 236, 246, 
248, 249, 250, 253, 255, 262, 273, 
Monterey, Conde de, viceroy 1595- 

1603, 107. 
Montero, Bernardo, captain, Pre- 
sidio del Carmen 1765, 161. 



Montesclaros, Marques de, viceroy 

1603-07, 107-9. 
Mora, Francisco de, Creole farmer, 

216, 218 and note 16, 219, 223. 
Mora y Jaraba, 55. 
Morelos, Jose Maria, 229. 
Morelos, state, 48. 
Mortmain, 190, 206, 338-9. 
Moya y Contreras, Pedro, visitor, 

and viceroy 1584-5, 106-7, 108. 
Mulattoes, 50. 
Municipal officers, 98, 300, 222, 

302; finance, 127, 158, 210, 222, 

225, 296, 303, 299. 
Muiioz and Carrillo, pesquisidores, 

Muralla, defined, 363, note 96. 
Murga, Dionisio, assistant to Gal- 

vez, 135-136. 
Muzquiz, Miguel, Minister of Ha- 
cienda, 273. 
"Nancy", 159, 160, 204. 
Naples, 11, 14. 
Natchitoches, 48. 
Navio de permiso, 75. 
Navio de registro, 26. 
Negroes, 28, 30, 34, 35, 50, 51, 323, 

324, 327 
Neutral trade with Spanish Amer- 
ica, 24. 
Neve, Felipe de, recruiting officer, 

governor of California, 227, 253. 
New Granada, 33, 109, 202; gold 

and silver production, 318, note 

"New Laws," 99, 101, 102. 
New Mexico, 47, 48, 63, 152, 277, 

293, 326. 
New Orleans, 166. 
New Spain, 7, 17, 21, 23, 25, 28, 

33, 54, 57, 70, 83, 95, 96, 99, 102, 

106, 107, 108, 111, 112, 114, 117, 

128, 132, 136, 140, 142, 153, 155, 
156, 164, 165, 168, 169, 176, 181, 
183, 188, 197, 198, 199, 234, 235, 
250, 262, 281, 289, 290, 295, 310, 
312, 316, 317, 318, 322, 323, 330, 
333, 335, 336, 341, 342, 349, 350, 
351, 354, 357, 361, 365, 370, 371, 
373, 374, 375, 376, 378, 380, 381, 
383, 384, 386, 388; troops sent 
to, 43; extent of, 46-7; northern 
limit, 47-8, 50; administration 
of, 46-81; New Spain proper, 
48, 61, 324; division of labor in, 
52-3; postal service, 58; real 
hacienda, 76-82, 312-389; Inqui- 
sition in, 64-5, 101, 107, 115; 
Russian menace to, 47, 234, 245- 
6, 294; Jesuit expulsion, 210-33; 
gold and silver produced in, 318, 
note 11. 

Nootka Convention, 47. 

North Sea, 38. 

N,ovenos, 314, note 1, 350-2; see 

Nueva Andalucia, 269. 

Nueva Estremadura, 49. 

Nueva Galicia, 48, 49, 63, 66, 235, 
269, 284, 316, 354, 366. 

Nueva Vizcaya, 48, 49, 54, 66, 234, 
241, 242, 247, 268, 269, 271, 276, 
277, 280, 293, 295, 325, 343, 354. 

Nuevas Filipinas (now Texas), 48. 

Nuevo Leon, 48, 49, 61, 215, 293. 

Nuevo Santander, 48, 152, 293, 367. 

Oaxaca, 48, 54, 80, 81, 147, 152, 
158, 178, 291, 344, 349. 

Ochoa Badiola, Prudencio, assist- 
ant to Galvez, 135, 136. 

Oconor, Hugo de, 289. 

Officers subject to the visitation, 
59, 98, 99, 120, 122, 129, 132, 166. 

Oftciales reales, see Treasury offi- 



Oidores, 37, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 
67, 68, 72, 76, 90, 91, 92, 102, 103, 
105, 107, 110, 113, 115, 116, 119, 
122, 124, 154, 239, 245, 320, 323, 
328, 331, 349. 

"Old Christians," 1. 

Open ports, of Spain, 32. 

Orden de Carlos Tercero, 9. 

Ordenadores, 68. 

Ordinance of the Intendants, 1749, 
20, 291; Ordinance of 1786, 46, 
66, 76, 81, 191, note 27, 282, 302, 
325, 329, 333, 337, 339, 349, 352, 
359, 367, 370, 375, 379; see In- 
tendancies, Intendants, and Plan 
de Intendencias. 

Oriental trade, 28, 111, 303-10; see 
Acapulco trade, Manila galleon. 

Orizaba, 80, 144-5, 149, 152, 155. 

Orry, Jean, reforms of, 15, 25. 

Osio, Manuel, miner, Lower Cali- 
fornia, 250, 252, 253. 

d'Ossun, Marquis, French ambas- 
sador at Madrid, 4 and note 3, 

Ostimuri, alcaldia mayor, 269, 270, 

Otumba, 165. 

Oviedo, bishop of, 90. 

Pacific Coast, 31, 46, 47, 235, 345, 
246, 294. 

Pads assertores, 84. 

Pacheco, Pedro, visitor-general of 
Spain 1536, 91. 

Pachuca, 80, 376. 

Padron, defined, 222. 

Pagave, Francisco de, visitor-gen- 
eral of New Spain 1710, 114. 

Pagador, defined, 20, 79. 

Palacios, Juan Fernando, mariscal 
de campo, 158, 236. 

Palafox y Mendoza, Juan, visitor, 

viceroy, and bishop of Puebla, 

6, 107, 111-3, 112, 375. 
Palma en Mallorca, open port, 32. 
Palmeo, defined, 28, 32. 
Palou, Fr. Francisco, 255, 256, 264, 

265, 266. 
Panes, Colonel Miguel, 239. 
Panuco, 366. 
Papal States, 213. 
Pardo, defined, 51. 
Paris, 39. 

Parma (Italy), duchy, 15. 
Parral, 81. 
Parras, 54. 

Patino, Jose, Minister of State, 319. 
Patronage, ecclesiastical, 59; vice- 
royal, 59, 113. 
Patzcuaro, 214, 226, 227, 229, 230. 
Paul III, Pope, 85. 
Payno, Manuel, 358, note 84. 
Peace of Paris 1763, 41. 
Peage, defined, 73, 74, note 67, 363, 

note 96. 
Pearl duties, 258, 262, 372, note 

Penas de cdmara, defined, 103, 108, 

111, 124, 314, note 1, 378, 381-2. 
Penol Blanco, Santa Maria del (Za- 

catecas), 111, 330, 365, 366. 
Pensacola (Florida), 166, 204. 
Pension, 262, 343. 
Peralta, Gaston de, Marques de 

Falces, viceroy 1566-8, 104, 105. 
Periodeutes, 85. 
Perote, 81. 
Persia, 84. 
"Personal service," 103, 322, 324, 

Peru, 7, 8, 16, 17, 23, 32, 38, 40, 

55, 62, 76, 77, 109, 111, 202, 282, 

318, note 11, 330, 342. 
Pesquisa, defined, 84, 88, 105-6, 




Pesquisidor, defined, 84, 87, 88, 89, 
92, 105-6. 

Philip II of Spain, 13, 54, 105, 322. 

Philip III of Spain, 71, 324, 370, 

Philip IV of Spain, 334, 371. 

Philip V of Spain, 14-20, 23, 29, 
37, 115, 117, 290, 319. 

Philippine Islands, 3, 23, 28, 40, 
61, 64, 107, 111, 351, 373; Phil- 
ippine company, 34, note 46. 

Pimas Altos, 269, 270; Bajos, 271, 

Pimeria Alta, 47. 

Pineda, Colonel Juan, 238, 239, 270, 
274, 277, 278, 282, 285. 

Pious Fund, California, 65, 240, 
265, 382. 

"Pison", 49. 

Pitic (Sonora), 271, 272, 274, 276, 
278, 279. 

Pius IV, Pope, 85. 

Plan de Intendencias, 289-92. 

Playing-cards, 9, 81, 210, 263, 267, 
287, 314, note 1, 345, 375. 

Plomosas (also called Maloias), 

Polizones, defined, 50. 

Ponce de Leon, Luis, 95-6. 

Poor, The, in New Spain, 56, 125, 
151, 235, 298, 348. 

Population, of New Spain, groups, 
50, 55, 56; characterized by 
Croix, 51, note 7; occupations, 
53-4; relations between groups, 
56-7; estimated, of Lower Cali- 
fornia, 251; increase, 383; In- 
dian, estimated by Galvez, 329; 
census of Revillagigedo, 353. 

Porto Bello, 22, 24, 188. 

Porto Rico, 32, 33, 98, 282, 373. 

Portola, Captain Gaspar de, 250, 

Portazgo, defined, 192. 
Portugal, 8, 21. 
Portuguese, 21, 31, 110, 112. 
Postal revenues, 314, note 1; ser- 
vice of New Spain, 58, 332, 335, 

377-8, note 124. 
Potosi, Peru, mint, 318. 
Powder, see Gunpowder. 
Precious metals, exportation, 29, 

35, 54, 107, 141, note 21, 255, 308, 

President of audiencia, 57, 60, 62, 

63, 103, 105, 120, 122, 291; see 

Regente and Viceroy. 
Presidio del Carmen, 138, 160, 204, 

Presidio del Norte, 47. 
Presidios, frontier, 48, 153, 166, 

236, 267, 277, 288-9, 291, 294; 

situados for, 166; of California, 

Prior, of the consulado, 71, 72. 
Procuradores, Spain, 86; New 

Spain, 331. 
Prohibited beverages, 66, 214. 
Propios y arbitrios, defined, 210, 

300, 302. 
Providencias de Galvez, cited, 214, 

note 9, 223, 229, 246. 
Provinciales de la hermandad, 65. 
Provincias Internas, 166, 267, 330. 
Provision de visita, 99-100. 
Proyecto de Comercio 1720, 24, 25, 

187, 199. 
Prussia, 10. 

Public debt, 143, 373, note 112. 
Puebla, state, 48, 107, 232; city, 

53, 55, note 18, 80, 111, 113, 150, 

152, 158, 213, 214, 291, 296, 344. 
Pueblos, Indian, 53, 257. 
Puestos y mesillas, defined, 360. 
Puga, Vasco de, cited, 103, 105. 
Pulperias, defined, 339. 



Pulque, 140, 210, 314, note 1, 358- 

Purisima Concepcion (Lower Cali- 
fornia) mission, 251. 

Quauhtemotzin, 93. 

Queretaro, state, 48; custom-house, 
80; mentioned, 181. 

Quicksilver, 34, 36, 80, 125, 242, 
note 10, 263, 267, 283, 287, 314, 
note 1, 317, 321, 376. 

Quinto, see Fifth. 

Quinones, Lebron de, visitor,